CHAMBER TALK: Soon be Christmas

Business news from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian,, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
Business news from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian,, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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By Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce president Phil Scarlett

Our well attended AGM was on July 2 and we had a most interesting speaker who captivated the audience with his account of the Market Rasen BIG project which became one of the first Portas Pilot towns.

Richard Hallsworth is a founding member and he described the challenges they faced from being one of the twelve selected towns through to the achievements of the last two years of re-energising the town centre and particularly their market.

In addition to the £98k they were initially awarded, they received a further £101k earlier this year to continue their work.

He listed their achievements, amongst which were the appointment of a town centre manager, halving the number of empty shops, two community shops, 12 BIG markets with a waiting list to attend and the encouragement of higher standards and innovative thinking.

He left us with a vision of what can be achieved and a reminder of how town centres must change in the future to be successful with Mary Portas’ philosophy – “town centres are a multi functional social space”.

Richard encouraged us in our quest for a town centre manager to co-ordinate retailers activities, improve standards and market the town.

Christmas lights switch-on, Sunday, November 17

Bet you’re not thinking about Christmas at all. We are planning right now this year’s lights switch on. It will be earlier than previous years as traders are proud of our Christmas lights and wish to have them creating a festive feel for longer.

Again this year the day will be co-ordinated by Jan Whitbourn of Tulip Radio. She is interested in hearing from school choirs who would like to sing in the town centre at the lights switch-on. She would like all schools to come and sing one song, dress up, acting throughout the song and enjoy themselves.

If you know anyone who may be interested in getting involved in any way, would like a stall to raise funds for their charity, have a dance team and would like to showcase what they do, individuals who can sing and would like to show us their talent or would just like to help out, please do contact Jan as soon as you can, the sun may be shining but the snow will soon be here!That’s cheered us all up! Contact Jan at

Chamber Membership

We have been tidying up our website and invite businesses to take a look at our aims and activities by visiting Please consider joining us and participating in business events and sharing your views on how South Holland can be a great place to do business.