Monthly Archive 29 July 2023

Local Development Plan review process commences

More public engagement is promised as the council begins the process of reviewing the Local Development Plan.

The pledge came at the most recent meeting of Full Council, in response to a public question submitted by John Grimmer, who said: “Save the Freshney Valley protesters have demonstrated at every Full Council meeting for more than two years now to show their strong opposition to the proposed housing development in Grimsby West. Residents from two wards who are against the development have used their votes at the last two council elections to overwhelmingly vote in, so far, three new independent councillors who vigorously oppose the unpopular planned development.

“The Save the Freshney Valley group has a membership of more than 2000 people and is still growing. We have clearly shown that the development is not wanted, and it obviously is not needed. The North East Lincolnshire five-year housing land supply assessment for 2023 currently has plans for more than 13 years’ supply of houses, instead of just the five years required.

“All these extra houses are not needed, and we will go on demonstrating against the over-development and needless destruction of our precious countryside that can never be replaced.

“Will this council please listen to the surveys, to the voters, to the local statistics and to our protest group when reviewing the Local Plan and remove the unnecessary Grimsby West development from the plan?”

Council leader Philip Jackson responded: “The council has commenced the Local Development Plan review process and Cabinet recently agreed the timetable. We are looking forward to more public engagement with this review process than when drawing up the current Local Plan pre-2018. We will, of course, listen and take account of people’s views but there is a full range of evidence to consider when reviewing the plan.

“We are currently able to demonstrate a 13-year supply of housing land only because, once the Local Plan is five years old, the annual housing target reverts to the Government’s baseline figure. This takes no account of any growth in the local economy or many other local factors. That’s why it’s premature to say that the Grimsby West site ‘obviously is not needed’, in Mr Grimmer’s words, and it would be wrong of me to pre-empt the outcome of the review process.”

Leader orders nursery consultation review

Council leader Philip Jackson has ordered an external independent review to investigate the “unacceptable process” set in train regarding the recent controversial consultation over the future of two nurseries and a day care facility in North East Lincolnshire.

Cllr Jackson used the opportunity of delivering his Leader’s Speech at yesterday’s meeting of Full Council to “address head on” the topic.

He told the chamber: “It’s been four months since my last Leader’s statement and there has been a huge amount happening across North East Lincolnshire. Firstly, I want to address head on an issue which has understandably caused great controversy and concern over the past month. Two weeks ago, the Cabinet announced an immediate end to the consultation around the future of Great Coates and Scartho nurseries, and the Reynolds Day Care facilities. The settings will therefore remain open as normal, with parents encouraged to enrol for the new term in September.

“Instead, the council will now take time to work with staff, governors, and parents.  Together they will fully assess the situation, taking account of the hundreds of views already gathered. These include positive approaches from organisations already working in local childcare, as well as parents, governors, and residents.

“Over the past week, Cllr Cracknell, Cllr Shreeve and I, along with relevant officers, have held three meetings with representatives of the three settings and ward councillors, and have set in train a process to work towards ensuring these nurseries become sustainable from both an occupancy and financial viewpoint.

“Let me be clear, the way in which this process was set in train was totally unacceptable, with the Cabinet unaware that letters had been sent to parents and staff starting a consultation around potential closures of the three settings. Therefore, as leader of the council, I have instigated an independent external review as to how this situation arose, and to ensure lessons are learned.

“While on the theme of children, I want to turn to Children’s Services.  Following Ofsted’s last monitoring visit, we received positive feedback from inspectors in respect of the integrated front door and other related matters but there remains a long way to go. Our Improvement Plan has two clear areas of priority – to improve outcomes for children and to build a stable and resilient workforce in children’s social care. We continue to work effectively with both Lincolnshire County Council, as our sector led improvement partner, and our commissioner. 

“Managing demand, workforce and financial challenges in children’s social care are not unique to this authority; that was clear from the recent LGA conference in Bournemouth. Many other areas are experiencing similar challenges, regardless of their Ofsted rating.

“However, our financial challenges are particularly acute, and it is imperative that we do more to control and reduce expenditure in children’s services and that money spent delivers positive outcomes for our children and families.”

Turning to health and care integration, Cllr Jackson outlined the continuing work with the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board to support the further development of ‘our place’ based integrated health and care arrangements in North East Lincolnshire. “Our recent Corporate Peer Challenge referred to our national best practice in this field and it is important that we build on that,” he said. “Our good performance, for example, in key areas such as hospital discharge is a result of our well-established integrated model – one team, one set of resources and some strong working relationships across a complex sector.

“Now to more positive developments around levelling up, business, industry, and regeneration. We are now fully engaged with the Government regarding a possible Greater Lincolnshire devolution deal. Officers and Government officials are working through issues such as governance as well as the scope and structure of a devolution deal – covering areas such as skills, innovation, infrastructure, transportation, and net zero. This work will continue over the summer and no major decisions will be taken without formal Cabinet consideration and Full Council involvement.

“However, it is essential that collaboration around the Humber continues where it is in our mutual interest. The Humber Freeport, officially up and running since earlier this month, is an example of private and public sector partners working successfully together around the Estuary. Freeports have been established at eight strategic locations within England, with the clear objective to be a catalyst for growth through delivering national hubs for global trade and investment, nurturing innovation, and driving regeneration and the creation of skilled jobs, enhanced infrastructure, and increased connectivity.

“Humber Freeport aims do all of these things and more. To steer Humber Freeport’s strategic direction, three clear workstreams have been established – decarbonisation, skills and innovation.

“The Humber is the pre-eminent cluster for energy in Northwest Europe and is uniquely positioned to create a roadmap for whole-region decarbonisation and drive the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. Our decarbonisation workstream will maximise opportunities across the UK’s Energy Estuary, supporting clean growth and attracting further investment in low carbon energy and technology.

“Without a skilled workforce equipped with the required expertise, the net zero transition will not succeed. Freeport status aims to generate more than 7000 mostly skilled jobs, not only in green energy, but in sectors ranging from logistics and chemicals to advanced manufacturing. The skills workstream will help ensure our region has the right people, with the right expertise, to drive economic growth.

“And finally, to innovation. Freeport status will create a hotbed for new, emerging technologies, driving transformational change and underpinning future success. The Freeport aims to attract hundreds of millions of pounds of inward investment in the Humber.  The three tax sites in Hull, Goole and Immingham and the customs zone in Grimsby will create a highly attractive environment for investment, trade and industry.

“In addition, North East Lincolnshire will receive millions of pounds of seed corn capital funding from the Government as part for the Freeport deal, that will be available for business investment. We will, of course, also benefit from additional business rate income.

“Still on the theme of business investment, three Grimsby firms recently benefitted from more than £5 million of UK Seafood Fund Infrastructure Scheme grant monies from DEFRA, a huge vote of confidence for our thriving seafood sector. Fastnet Fish was awarded £1.2 million to increase cold store capability in their existing facility by 150%, by installing racking units which will maximise product throughput, without incurring additional energy costs.  The project aims to substantially reduce electricity usage by installing renewable energy mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions and create environmentally sustainable energy solutions. New England Seafood International received £3.8 million to deliver a state-of-the-art processing facility in Grimsby. The project includes the purchase of processing equipment, the extension and refurbishment of their current building and installation of a refrigeration plant. The project will increase output by 162% over four years and create 263 jobs, whilst reducing road miles and energy consumption.  Seafish Processing Limited was awarded £315,000 to expand its processing facility.  The project will include the refurbishment of their current building to install a new cold store, blast chiller and fish-debone and separator station.  It will increase the processing and production capacity by 40%, increase export capability and reduce carbon emissions.”

Cllr Jackson continued: “It is almost a year since this Council took the brave decision to purchase Freshney Place, Lincolnshire’s largest covered shopping centre, to ensure that it remained a key part of the regeneration of Grimsby town centre. Earlier this month, the Freshney Place Cabinet Sub-Committee received a performance report from Queensberry Real Estate, which is currently managing Freshney Place on behalf of the council. This demonstrated increasing footfall, an increased centre occupancy rate, new lettings bettering the business plan, and the successful collection of pre-purchase arrears, effectively bonus money, together with the proposed NHS Community Diagnostic Centre in Baxtergate being a real positive that fully aligns to the aims of diversifying the town centre while at the same time making health services more available to our wider community.  There is also a potential exciting new letting; part of a national retail chain which will occupy the old WH Smith’s unit.

“In the autumn, work on the ground will start on the repurposing of the western end of Freshney Place to deliver the new multiscreen cinema, leisure facilities and market and food hall. Clearly there is still much to do in Freshney Place, but the first year has been very positive. It has not been the burden on the council tax payer that some predicted; in fact, quite the opposite!

“Just a stone’s throw away from Freshney Place, the planning application has been validated to redevelop the long-abandoned St James House into a vibrant business hub named The Hive. One of the six Towns Fund projects, this ambitious scheme will help breathe new life into the heart of Grimsby town centre, providing local and small businesses with state-of-the-art office accommodation and business event space and will significantly contribute to the town’s regeneration. The Hive will feature a range of modern amenities, including more than 20 flexible offices, a contemporary café, and a spacious events hall.  Additionally, the premises will be the new home for the 300-plusy members of the unique Business Hive Club.  It will boast a members’ lounge, and well-equipped meeting rooms, offering the perfect setting for businesses to network, collaborate, and grow. The redevelopment of St James House is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 but will be carried out in a phased approach, with floors being released for letting as soon as possible.

“Another Towns Fund project, the refurbishment of Riverhead Square to provide an improved public meeting and events space, is progressing apace. A third Towns Fund project is the redevelopment of brownfield land on Alexandra Dock. This was identified for green urban housing in Grimsby’s Town Centre Masterplan, which is supported by Homes England, and is cited as an ideal location given the water nearby and the other town centre improvements that are underway. Preliminary Market Consultation is currently underway to find a development partner to bring forward this regeneration project.

“Finally, for Grimsby town centre, work has now begun on Grimsby’s much-anticipated Horizon Youth Zone, as construction staff moved on to the Garth Lane site in June. The Horizon state-of-the-art youth centre is expected to open in early 2025 in the Grade II-listed West Haven Maltings buildings, which have been a derelict eyesore for many years. It will provide thousands of young people with opportunities to engage in activities, and access support from skilled youth workers. It will be a great facility for our young people and the town centre.

“So, many exciting projects progressing in Grimsby town centre but don’t worry, Cleethorpes has not been forgotten! Planning work continues for the delivery of the three Cleethorpes Masterplan projects for which £18.4 million of Levelling Up Funding was received earlier this year – Sea Road, Cleethorpes Market Place and Pier Gardens.

“Turning now to our LGA Corporate Peer Challenge, mentioned earlier, which took place in March.  To be clear, this was not an inspection but a way to gain an external perspective and advice from experienced local government peers on five key strands of our activities. The report was broadly positive and offered ten recommendations for areas of improvement, none of which came as a surprise. The report and its recommendations were very positively received by Cabinet, and an associated action plan agreed. Progress will be monitored.

“Earlier this month was the 500th day of the appalling Ukraine war and I have promised to keep members updated on North East Lincolnshire’s involvement in the Ukrainian Refugee Scheme. Currently we have 77 guests with 32 sponsors; 19 guests have left area or country independently. Two guests have been rematched to another local authority and three rematched into our local authority. We are imminently expecting another two or three arrivals. There are now 13 households privately renting and we are awaiting another four or five moving into a new development.  Furniture is being provided by from local suppliers and stores.  Many thanks to all residents and business who have stepped up to the plate.”

Council opposes closures to rail ticket offices

The Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council and portfolio holder for transport have responded to the TransPennine Express consultation relating to changes to ticket offices and customer services at staffed stations.

Cllr Philip Jackson and Cllr Stewart Swinburn have sent a letter, on behalf of the council, against the proposals presented by TransPennine Express and have written to the Secretary of State for Transport and Transport Focus to outline their concerns.

The proposed changes from TransPennine Express includes closing both ticket offices at Grimsby Town and Cleethorpes railway stations and reducing the staffing hours at both stations.

Cllr Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “Closing the ticket offices at both Grimsby Town and Cleethorpes train stations raises a number of concerns, in particular but not limited to, the impact on elderly and disabled passengers. Elderly and disabled passengers often prefer or require assistance from members of staff at the existing ticket offices to ensure they are purchasing the correct train ticket and to assist with journey planning. Closing these ticket offices will only worsen this issue. There are also a number of people in North East Lincolnshire who do not have access to the internet or mobile phones, and these people will often find it hard to use self-service ticket machines.”

Cllr Jackson added: “The council is making significant investments to regenerate Grimsby Town Centre and the resort of Cleethorpes to make North East Lincolnshire a better place to live, work and visit. We have an aspiration for both locations to be an all-year-round destination of choice for visitors. Therefore, the number of train passengers are expected to increase and we would expect rail users to have a high quality experience, which would assist with encouraging more people visiting the area.”

The council previously worked with TransPennine Express to refurbish and upgrade both ticket offices. If the ticket offices are closed, the anticipated benefits from this investment, such as providing a better passenger experience, will not be realised.  

Cleethorpes train station is proposed to reduce its staffed hours by 1.5 hours per day, with the staffing hours starting from 6am instead of 4.30am, Monday to Saturday. The proposals also intend to reduce staffing hours at Grimsby Town station by 49.75 hours over the course of the week. Its new hours will be Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm and Sunday 9am to 4pm.

In their letter, the Cabinet members state the reduction of staff in the early hours of the morning and late evenings presents a safety concern for passengers using the trains during these times, such as anti-social behaviour and in emergency situations. It also stops customers with accessibility issues getting the help they may need for their journey.

Article and image from NELC.

Horizon already on side with local young people

WORK has now begun on Grimsby’s much-anticipated Horizon Youth Zone, as construction staff moved onto the Garth Lane site in June.

And, whilst the build work has taken a while to come to fruition, many of the project’s volunteers and staff agree that Horizon has been making a big impression on local young people for many months.

Once a week since 2019, Covid aside, a group of young people have met to discuss their aspirations for Horizon Youth Zone, from the name of the Grimsby project to the logo, and to share their needs and wants for the completed youth centre.  Coming from all walks of life, and all areas of North East Lincolnshire, the young people have discussed their passions and aired their views about what they feel is missing from the local area.

More recently, they have gathered to play outdoor games in People’s Park, followed by a catch up at Grimsby’s University Centre where they discuss the latest developments with the project, and share news of their lives.  The group was also asked to help interview potential candidates for the position of the new Horizon CEO, ensuring that their views were taken into consideration when deciding on the perfect person to drive such an inspirational local charity.

From Cleethorpes, 19-year-old Ibraham, known to his friends as ‘Ibo’, (pictured above with fellow group member Xander, Onside Openings Manager Steve Anderton and volunteer Kevin Childs) has future hopes of becoming a train driver but was excited to have recently been offered employment in a local factory.  He has been attending the group for the last year, initially being drawn to the project to help make a difference.

He said: “It is exciting to be a part of something this special, and I hope that we can all make big changes as the Youth Zone becomes a reality.

“The project will be for 8-19-year-olds (up to 25 for those with additional needs), so I am at the older end of the scale and will be too old for it when it is finished, but I have enjoyed being a part of the legacy I hope it will leave in the area.”

Thirteen-year-old Jacob joined Horizon when he was struggling with bullying at his school.  He explained: “The group has given me a new confidence and now I feel more able to confront negative situations with a positive attitude.  It has allowed me to be much happier at school.

“It has been nice to make new friends at Horizon, and I have enjoyed helping people out.”

Xander, currently the youngest of the group, only recently turning 13-years-old, explained: “It has been nice to play a part in the creation of Horizon, but for me it has also given me a safe space and something to do away from home.”

All three young people, Ibo, Jacob, and Xander, are soon to be heading off for an exciting, week-long exchange trip to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the USA, where they will meet other teenagers to learn about the American culture and its values.  Ibo is excited to find out about the massive pizzas he has heard so much of, while Xander is keen to find out what young people do across ‘The Pond’.  Jacob is looking forward to finding out about colleges in the States.

He said: “I am hoping to look at what education is available there, especially when it comes to courses about crime and behind the scenes organisations.  When they come here, we can take them to the docks and talk about the history of the area, which has been a very important part of Grimsby life.”

When their American counterparts head over to North East Lincolnshire they will learn all about life here and visit some of our more famous places and landmarks.  It will be interesting to find out how our Horizon travellers got on in the States, and how their American guests view our small corner of the planet.

Volunteer Kevin Childs, who has been volunteering since the start, in October 2019, commented: “We are on about the third cohort of young people as many of those that took part in the initial Horizon discussions reached the age of 19 and moved on.  As they left, new ones came in at the other end and gave us fresh perspectives.

“We had about 50 young people in a room above Grimsby town’s McDonald’s, at one point, and probably about 12 regulars.  They came from Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, Centre 4, West Marsh, all over the place.  It was great to get their ideas so that we could make sure that what we are building is created by them, for them to use.

“Even at this relatively early stage, and in our current meeting place at the University Centre, we are pulling together young people from across the area and offering them the opportunity for growth, to be themselves, and to try something new.  These are exciting times.”

The Horizon state-of-the-art youth centre is expected to open in early 2025 in the Grade II Listed West Haven Maltings buildings along the River Freshney. It will provide thousands of young people with opportunities to engage in activities, and access support from skilled youth workers.  Members will have access to an indoor climbing wall, a four-court sports hall, training kitchen, music room with a recording studio, fully equipped gym, dance, and drama studio, 3G kick pitch, arts and crafts room, and an enterprise and employability suite.  The centre will cost just 50p per child, per session.

Horizon Youth Zone is being delivered by national charity OnSide, in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council which is contributing towards the Youth Zone as part of the Greater Grimsby Town Deal. Other key supporters include Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ørsted, St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, The Youth Investment Fund and private donors.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Education, Cllr Margaret Cracknell, is delighted by the positive difference Horizon is having on our young people – even before its doors open.

“Given support, encouragement and a chance to grow our young people will shine and provide us with real hope for our future here in North East Lincolnshire. It’s clear already that the Horizon project is doing just that. I want to take this opportunity too, to thank all the local groups and organisations that are already doing such good work, which will be complemented by this new centre,” she said.

For more on Horizon go to Home Page – Horizon Youth Zone- external site

Article and images from NELC.

Embracing a local vision for the reconnection of town centre areas

LESS than two years after the launch of the Activation Community Engagement (ACE) Fund, proposals from Grimsby businesses and organisations continue to embrace a local vision for regeneration.

The fund, accessible from November 2021 to March 2026, offers small and medium-sized businesses, including social, charitable, or community-based groups, the opportunity to apply for grants to support the establishment of alternative activities in the town centre area.

The ACE Fund was developed through consultation with local people and organisations and was allocated £850k from the £20.9m Greater Grimsby Towns Fund, a pioneering initiative signed in 2018.  The core aim of ACE is to support the invigoration of waterfront and town areas, providing a broad range of pastimes and activities to be enjoyed by all.

Central Grimsby-based businesses and groups making bids must have a projects delivering outcomes falling into one of six priority areas, including more diverse uses of the town centre, reconnecting to the waterfront areas, development opportunities, health and wellbeing activities, and employment opportunities.

Projects at Curious Cat, in Bethlehem Street, and Racks Sports Bar and Grill, in Osborne Street, both in the heart of the town, are just two projects successfully receiving ACE funding to put their plans into place to deliver business growth.

The Curious Cat’s owner Lewis Parry, who applied for a grant to purchase of two shuffle boards at the venue, said:

“We wanted to bring something new to Grimsby – shuffle boards are becoming increasingly popular in hotels and bars operated by major chains, and we wanted to be the first in Grimsby. The grant from the Activation Fund helped us to do this.”

Racks Sports Bar and Grill has been converted into an entirely new leisure venue, offering visitors access to a pool hall and bar, sports bar and grill, and a retail unit for cue sports and accessories. £25,000 from the ACE fund has helped support this investment by the private business.

Business owner Jane Milson commented: “We’ve taken a vacant building in the town and through the work we’ve done, converted it into an attractive property, with a healthy footfall.  We wanted to provide a sociable activity for our local community in a safe environment.”

The ACE Fund supports the wider Grimsby town centre regeneration project, seeing the substantial refurbishment of key areas, including St James’ Square, Riverhead Square, and Garth Lane.

Cllr Philip Jackson, council leader and portfolio holder for economy, net zero, skills, and housing, said: “The ACE Fund is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to think of creative ways they can diversify, generating traffic into town.

“Making the centre more vibrant, appealing and interesting will attract more footfall and provide a springboard for private investment and growth.”

For full details or to apply for the fund, visit:

Article from NELC.

Housing developers wanted to take the urban living project forward

The initial stages of seeking a development partner to bring forward the regeneration of Alexandra Docks are now under way.

As previously reported, the site, behind the newly renovated Garth Lane waterfront area, has been earmarked by the Council for urban housing.

This area was identified for homes in Grimsby’s Town Centre Masterplan, which is supported by Homes England, and is cited as an ideal location given the water nearby and the improvements that have already taken place.

Preliminary Market Consultation (PMC) is currently underway through YORtender to allow potential developers to get in touch and explore what the Council wants and offer ideas on what could be delivered on this site and other potential sites around the town.

To find out more and access the PMC documentation and questionnaire, please visit – external site 

As part of this exercise, the Council will be holding a “Meet the Buyer” online event on 25th July at 2pm to discuss the project with potential developers. As this will be a live session, there will also be time for questions. Potential developers can request to attend this through YORtender.

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of the council with responsibilities for the economy, net zero, skills and housing, said: “The main objective of this work is to create a place that connects the town and its community with its waterside, creating a fantastic urban living environment that’s kind to the planet.

“There’s a long way to go yet, and developments of this scale don’t happen overnight. But we are working to improve the town centre as a whole and this is part of that vision. Step-by-step we want to change how our town centre is used and enjoyed as a whole.”

Article from NELC.

Major Arts Council England grant secured 

The next phase of work around supporting creativity in North East Lincolnshire has been secured this week with the awarding of a £450,000 Place Partnership grant from Arts Council England.

The money will be used to build on the legacy of the Grimsby Creates to deliver work over the next last three years strengthening support for local creatives to deliver new experiences and festivals happening in the borough, experimenting with new ideas, schools and community engagement work by providing advice, building strong networks and providing opportunities for newly commissioned projects.

Over the next three years, with the new Place Partnership grant, supported by UK Shared Prosperity Funds, the Council will lead a programme to grow ambitious creative activity across North East Lincolnshire capturing that renewed confidence, celebrating the borough’s collective history and green future.

The programme will grow Grimsby Creates’ work across the whole borough helping to deliver the recently adopted Creativity Strategy and action plan, and focus on participation and engagement, strengthening partnerships and realising the Council and Arts Council England’s aims as a Priority Place.

Cllr Hayden Dawkins, Cabinet member for Culture, said: “This is fantastic news, and means that we can continue the great work and momentum we’ve seen in the last three years. People engaged in arts, culture and creative occupations are really leading a change in confidence in the borough and in local activities.”

Pete Massey, Director, North, Arts Council England said: “Congratulations to North East Lincolnshire on their Place Partnership Fund award. Place Partnership Funding is designed to help places make a step-change in the cultural and creative lives of the community and that’s exactly what this project will do. As a priority place we have already begun to see the transformational impact our investment has had in the region and this further funding will help to support and build on that work. There are exciting times ahead for culture and creativity in North East Lincolnshire.”  

Through the Grimsby Creates programme:

  • 120 creatives have received advice and guidance, helping secure in excess of £4m of grants, funds, sponsorship, contracts and investments.
  • St James’ Square’ regeneration has been completed including new artwork from Annabel McCourt and Adrian Riley highlighting Grimsby’s heritage and people.
  • Events including Festival of the Sea, #MyFishGY and Edible Grimsby attracted an audience of 64,624 and increased footfall on event days by an average of 7% in Grimsby town centre.
  • 4 large scale murals in key locations have brightened up brick walls providing opportunity for celebration of our heritage leading to increased pride across our borough
  • 55 networking events were offered throughout the programme creating a culture of collaboration and partnership working strengthening the local creative sector and building the foundations for growth.

Activities outlined in the new programme include everything from micro, large scale and digital commissions (including more murals throughout the borough) especially focused on promoting our heritage and green future, to development and continuation of events such as “Our Future Starts Here” and “Edible Grimsby”, alongside working with children and young people to encourage interest in creative activities and developing strong creative networks across the North East Lincolnshire.

A full work programme is being drawn up, and opportunities for creative individuals and organisations will be promoted as they arise.

Article from NELC.

Small businesses to have their say in FSB’s flagship survey

Small businesses across Northern Lincolnshire are being invited to have their say on the future of the high street, by taking part in a UK-wide survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) on issues such as business rate relief, public transport and parking, access to cash and street cleaning.

The findings will be analysed, and recommendations then submitted to the UK National government, local authorities, and politicians to help the regions high streets to flourish into the future.

The survey will run from 13 July to the 27 July and can be found at external site 

Paula Gouldthorpe, FSB Development Manager for South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and the Humber said: “I encourage all small businesses across Northern Lincolnshire, from its city centre, towns, villages and coastal communities to spare just a few minutes to take part in the FSB Future of the High Street survey.

High streets are essential for small businesses, providing a platform for commerce and a sense of community pride, as well as opportunities for social interaction, events, and cultural activities. Sustainable high streets are key to flourishing urban and rural areas and for the success of our seaside towns. The more responses we get from businesses in communities across Northern Lincolnshire, the better their specific views can underpin recommendations.”

The public highly values small businesses on the high street, according to recent research by FSB and Public First; A majority of respondents said that small businesses were more important than large businesses for the following categories: Keeping traditional craft and skills alive (78%), pride in local communities (76%), providing unique services and products (72%), and growing the local economy (57%).

Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We have a huge number of small businesses in North East Lincolnshire – they are a major part of our economic landscape. Through Government investment, we are now well on the way to delivering key projects in Grimsby and Cleethorpes’ town centres and surrounding areas in the coming years that will benefit businesses small and large. Together we can make our towns stronger and better places.”

Previous policy research by FSB has been central to understanding small business experience and perceptions of high streets and the policies impacting them. An FSB policy report Streets Ahead (March 2020) highlighted small business experiences of the high street before the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey found that at least 32% per cent of businesses in Yorkshire the Humber region were operated on or next to their local high street, representing a significant and important section of the city’s small business sector.

Article from NELC.

Exciting launch of new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities project

North East Lincolnshire Council is one of just 55 Local Authorities to participate in an exciting and forward thinking project funded by the Department for Education dedicated to improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND in North East Lincolnshire.

Delivering Better Value in SEND (DBV) officially launched in North East Lincolnshire on 12 July at Grimsby Town Hall.

Following a period of consultation, research and engagement North East Lincolnshire Council was granted the funding in March this year.

The launch was well attended by parent carers of children and young people with SEND as well as professionals from education settings, health, and social care.

Prior to the launch Officers at North East Lincolnshire Council highlighted target areas for improvement by collating insight and data from parent carers, children and young people, and professionals in education, health, social care and the third sector.

Janice Spencer, Director of Children’s Services at North East Lincolnshire Council said: “The launch was a great chance to feature our exciting plans for Delivering Better Value in SEND. Those who have given their feedback, insight, and ideas to us were able to see how they’ve shaped the delivery of the project.

“We’re really excited about participating in this programme. We have a wealth of insight and data collated from across the SEND partnership to inform our actions and measure our impact. It’s based on a strong understanding of our local needs, our areas of strength, and how we can bring this together to make long term improvements.

“With the cooperation of schools and partners in health and social care we will see real benefits for children and young people with SEND, and the professionals that work with them.”

“We’re lucky to have parent carers keen to get involved and work with us, as well as dedicated professionals who want to do the best for every child and young person with SEND.

“We are making the most of the opportunity to ensure we execute a robust plan that is implemented well and creates long term change.”

Following a Delivering Better Value in SEND presentation guests heard about Launch Pad, a new social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) setting in our area, expanding the alternative provision offer.

At the event guests gave their feedback on key themes such as transition to adulthood, how children and young people can be more visible in their community, and what additional education offer is needed to expand our alternative provision offer.

Stay up to date with the project’s progress on the SEND Local Offer here.

Article and image from NELC.

Scartho cemetery buildings being restored to Victorian glory

STEPPING into the Victorian buildings at Scartho cemetery is like drifting back in time, to an era where ladies in bustling skirts and men with wool jackets and flat caps arrived at the large, wrought iron gates to say a final farewell to their loved ones.

Opened in 1889, the arrival of a funeral cortege, fronted by a horse and cart, would have been commonplace at the Scartho Road site.  While the burial was registered at the nearby lodge, mourners would reflect in the waiting area across the road, warmed by the tiled, cast-iron fireplace during the cold, winter months.

The horse and cart would have waited patiently by the side of the chapel, tethered to a metal bar at the edge of the building.

Fast forward to 2023, the once derelict buildings are undergoing a huge, sympathetic scheme of restoration, managed by Gavin Duffy, senior architectural technologist at North East Lincolnshire Council’s partner Equans.  Gavin has seen the project from its infancy through to the rapidly developing stages of restoration seen in the buildings today.  He commented:

“It has taken 14 years to get to this point, so it is exciting to see it develop each day.  We had to apply for funding, decide what the buildings were going to be used for, and create a schedule of works for the project.

“During the last half century, there has been a lot of poor workmanship across the site and much of this has had to be stripped right back.  Some of the materials used were retaining water and we are having to dry a lot of the brickwork out, particularly in the chapels. The buildings were last used in the Nineties. 

“Our contractors, UK Restoration Services, are specialists in this type of restoration, and complete historic projects, such as this, across the country.

“The work is progressing well, although there are always some surprises, but we are on target to start the second phase of works by autumn, 2023.”

One of those surprises was the discovery of bats at the lodge.  The team had to ‘down tools’ and apply for a mitigation licence from Natural England, resulting in a new home for the bats, in the eaves of the former waiting room.  The whole process set the lodge project back for four months, but the team is now firmly back on schedule.

The two chapels, dramatically situated at the centre of a roundabout, are surprisingly spacious, and have had extensive work completed since 2018.   The colourful windows have been beautifully restored, repointing has taken place on the brickwork, and new doors have been installed.  In time, one chapel will be used for storage while the other will be used to hold funeral services.

The former waiting room, with its seating area resembling that of a Victorian railway station, will become an area for viewing and purchasing headstones, while a nearby, much smaller building would be ideal for a floristry business.  This building was added to the site in the 1950s.

All the building work has benefited from suitable, environmentally friendly materials, such as sheep wool for the insulation, and hemp for the plaster.  The ceilings in the lodge are undergoing the restoration of the 135-year-old lath and plaster.  All materials used have longevity, reducing the risk of replacement or fixing in the short-term future.

The lodge will be a further home for bereavement services and a single-story extension is planned for the rear of the building, although this will not be completed until late 2024.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“These buildings are a real asset for the area.  It is wonderful to be able to put them back into use and preserve them for future generations.

“Using sustainable products and materials ensures that the chapels, former waiting room, and lodge are restored to the highest standard, and they are much kinder to our environment.”

Scott Dewhurst, Contracts Manager for UK Restoration Services, finished:

“The restoration has been challenging overall but we are really pleased with how things are coming along.

“It is a privilege to resurrect and work on these historic, Victorian buildings and in doing so, the team and I have also become a part of their rich and interesting history.”

Article and images from NELC.