Spalding Town Centre Steering Group put forward ideas for £2.6m Government funding pot

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A town centre manager and better tourist promotion were put forward as ideas for how to spend a big Government funding pot.

Members of the Spalding Town Centre Steering Group were told about two sets of investment opportunities at their meeting on Monday.

As previously reported, £2.6 million has been allocated to South Holland from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – cash that aims to replace EU money.

Spalding town centre (57085141)

The district council has about eight weeks to decide how that is spent – with projects having to be focussed on ‘people not buildings’.

Spalding and District Civic Society’s John Bland asked if the cash could help fund a town centre manager or ‘one or two’ people to offer a permanent presence.

He said they could help with everything from offering guidance to reporting anti-social behaviour and pleading with visitors to stop feeding the pigeons – and might help people to feel safer.

Historic environment officer Ian Marshman suggested using the cash to fund a tourism officer – to attract visitors to South Holland and create branding for the area that could also woo prospective businesses.

Coun Rodney Grocock said there had been a missed opportunity with a previous town manager – and accepted that the district had never been strong at tourism.

The ideas were noted by district council assistant director Matthew Hogan, who also ran through the £20 million bid to transform the Castle Sports Complex, as reported in Tuesday’s Free Press.

He described the creation of the ‘health and wellbeing hub’ as an ‘exciting opportunity’ – and said it would help address anti-social behaviour issues on the site.

Mr Marshman called for a community archaeological project to be included – giving residents chance to help dig for evidence for the former Castle.