District Council continues to seek town centre funding opportunities after Arts Council success
Posted on 18 November 2022
South Holland District Council, working with the wider Spalding improvement steering group, is continuing to explore and apply for further opportunities to bring new national funding and investment into the town, following the recent success of an Arts Council England bid.
Earlier this month the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status for the first time - securing just under £2m to support art, culture and creativity across the Partnership in South Holland, East Lindsey and Boston.
The bid, which was prepared with funding support from the Spalding town centre improvement fund, saw Ayscoughfee Hall chosen to become a new 'cultural centre', creating arts and cultural opportunities for local residents and community groups and supporting programmes based around the local area's heritage and history. These new programmes will help to expand the town's offer and encourage more footfall, supporting the town centre economy and businesses at the same time.
The steering group has also recently submitted a National Lottery Heritage Fund bid to help develop better wayfinding and heritage trails in Spalding, the outcome of which will be announced early next year, and is working in with local partners Transported on another Arts Council England bid, based around working with residents to help brighten up and improve the appearance of the town centre.
These bids come as the Council looks to build upon the separate £250,000 town centre improvement budgets it committed to both Spalding and Holbeach, using this smaller total as a platform to be able to access larger national funding opportunities that can help bring bigger and better changes to the town.
As well as this, South Holland District Council and the steering group have continued to invest in local events and key assets in the town to help better the experience for visitors and shoppers and to encourage more people to access Spalding's variety of independent, quality businesses. They are also working with private property owners in the centre to support and encourage aesthetic improvements to their buildings.
In recent months there has been significant improvement works carried out at council services including public toilets, the bus station, Winfrey Avenue car park and at Ayscoughfee café, whilst the town centre improvement budget continues to fund popular community events including the Christmas Celebration later this month and the recent Pumpkin Festival, which local businesses have praised for providing a notable increase in footfall and revenue in the area.
Councillor Rodney Grocock, portfolio holder for Spalding town improvement, said: "We continue to strive to find ways to bring real, lasting improvements to Spalding, whilst working with only a fraction of the budget that nearby, similar towns have received from the Government. We want to use the comparatively modest total we have been able to invest as the foundations to unlock more opportunities and to bring much-needed national support to our district.
"It is great to see the hard work of everyone involved begin to come to fruition, with refurbishment to key town facilities, significant funding successes and the fantastic attendance and feedback from our recent community events. We always knew that this would be a long-term process to achieve our ambitions, and I hope is just the beginning of what we can bring to Spalding in the months and years ahead."