Market Place revamp could transform Horncastle
That is the opinion of town businessman Paul Scott who claims the Market Place should be at the centre of the on going battle to attract more visitors.
Mr Scott is calling for car parking to be banned and the entire Market Place to be a car free zone.
He would like to see a café-style culture established with outdoor seating areas, space for live entertainment and noticeboards providing information about the town’s many historic sites and other attractions.
He says the re-vamped area could also be used to exhibit arts and crafts - and include sculptures and water features.
“The Market Place should be at the centre of any bid to attract visitors.
“It’s a natural amphitheatre. It’s the perfect stage for live events and concerts.
“It could be completely transformed . What is it now? A car park which everyone just seems to argue about.
“If this was Stratford on Avon - or anyone else in the country for that matter - the Market Place would be a real feature.
“Let’s put it at the heart of all that is good about Horncastle. Let’s bring more people in and show what this town is all about.”
Mr Scott has an extensive background in business and charitable organisations and says grant funding could be available.
He is a director of Enterperise Lincolnshire Ltd which offers start up support to small businesses.
He is a trustee of the Lincolnshire Community Foundation and a director of the world renowned Sir Joseph Banks Society.
He is also a former regional director of the Yorkshire and Humber National Enterprise Network and held a similar position with the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Enterprise Agency.
Mr Scott also serves on several local organisations and promotes the town’s many hsitorial attractions.
He added: “To me, the Market Place is a wasted space.
“If you brought events into the centre of town, it would actually make money - more money than a few car parking places generates.
“Obviously, some of it would have to be seasonal but the spins offs for the town - and for local businesses - could be fantastic.”
Mr Scott admitted he expected some of his plans would not go down well with existing businesses.
However, he insisted they would benefit from an increase in the number of visitors and said a traffic-free Marker Place would be safer.
He said delivery times could be set aside for businesses in the vicinity.
Town Mayor Coun Angela Birchall described Mr Scott’s ideas as ‘interesting’.