Ambitious £17m bid submitted to revamp Gainsborough and help town thrive

Exciting £17m plans to create a ‘Thriving Gainsborough 2024’ have been submitted by West Lindsey District Council to the Government for a share of the Levelling Up Fund.

Photo: (L-to-R) Sally Grindrod-Smith, Assistant Director for Planning and Regeneration at WLDC, Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, WLDC ward members Cllr Tim Davies, Cllr Matt Boles, Cllr Trevor Young and Leader of West Lindsey District Council Cllr Owen Bierley.

If successful, it is hoped the project will have a ‘domino effect’ improving prosperity not only within the town but across the district.

Plans include improving Whittons Gardens, a new park at the Baltic Mill, new

cinema, refurbished bus station, an extension to our heritage-led regeneration, new homes in the town centre above shops, and an improved Market Place as the centre piece of town where people can enjoy outdoor dining visit the market and and meet with friends and family.

Competition for the funding will be challenging as the council is just one of many

local authorities bidding for a share of the £4.8 billion fund.

However, that hasn’t stopped the council as it realises this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Coun Owen Bierley, leader of West Lindsey District Council, said: “We believe it is essential to the success and growth of the district to have a strong, thriving and prosperous town of Gainsborough. Local communities across West Lindsey will have access to improved leisure and cultural facilities, employment and training opportunities and a refurbished public transport hub at the bus station.

“Visitors to the town will be able to easily find their way through new public areas and green spaces between attractions, meaning that visitors to the district will be able to extend their stays and take advantage of all that West Lindsey has to offer.”

The council is asking for just over £10 million from the fund, the remaining funding

needed will be brought in from the council, external grants and private investors.

Coun Bierley explained that a lot of work has gone into the plan. He added: “I would like to thank all the councillors, officers and our MP who have worked incredibly hard to develop this strong, robust plan which includes public and private match funding.

"Whilst we recognise we are not in a priority category we hope the government will see the amount of work we have put into this bid and the real benefits this fund can have in our community.”

Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, has been working with the council

over the last ten weeks on the bid. He has also written a letter of support to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Sir Edward said: “Everyone across the community is fully supportive of this project

which will have a great impact on Gainsborough. We have a strong and well-thought-out plan which will not be possible without the Levelling Up Fund, and having missed out on recent funding rounds the town really deserves to get it this time.

Coun Trevor Young, Lib Dem leader of the opposition group at West Lindsey is also backing the bid.

He said: “We support the authority for applying for grant assistance to support the

redevelopment of the town centre. However if the bid is unsuccessful we will be

fighting to ensure the council funds the development from its own financial reserves”.

Cllr Timothy Davies, ward member for Gainsborough added: “A lot of work has gone

into developing this bid and I really hope it is successful so that we can start work as

soon as possible to help make a difference for our local communities.”

Cllr Matt Boles a ward member for Gainsborough also welcomed the proposals. He

said: “Gainsborough really needs this extra funding to be able to support our

ambitious plans. We are doing a lot of work to attract investors into the town but we

recognise we need this plan to make Gainsborough a place where people want to

live, work and socialise.”

In recent years, the Council secured Housing Zone Status, funds through the Single

Local Growth Fund and the National Lottery Townscape Heritage Initiative. However,

it recently missed out on the Towns Fund but the Council remain optimistic for the

Levelling Up Fund.