New team at the top for Spalding’s failing Red Lion Quarter

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A NEW management team has been brought in to turn around the ailing fortunes of Spalding’s Red Lion Quarter.

Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES) will be asked to find people willing to take on the empty office and shop units at the £6.5million centre.

The Lincolnshire Free Press has learnt that the Norwich-based not-for-profit firm has already been working with bosses at the centre for the last two weeks and will take on the responsibility for finding tenants and marketing the venue.

The news comes after we revealed that Richard Baggaley, who oversaw the building project and then became its manager, has left and a consultation has been launched with staff to cut costs at the Red Lion Quarter.

Bosses have stepped in to act because the food court is losing money and because the shop units have not been filled.

Ollie Chapman, interim centre co-ordinator for Red Lion, said that he is confident that retailers and can be attracted and the centre made a success.

He said: “The money has been spent on brilliant facilities.

“The retail spaces are ideal and the meeting rooms are state of the art.

“I don’t think we will have a problem getting people in here, it just needs to be marketed in the right way.

“It is a flagship and, give it a few months if we take over, we would make it at least on the way to being successful.”

Mr Chapman has worked on attracting people to industrial units in March and office space in Grantham and says the firm will look to talk to people in Spalding about what they want to see inside the centre.

NWES also hopes to promote the conference facilities and meeting rooms.

It is thought that the food court may continue to be run by the Red Lion Quarter’s current staff while students from South Lincolnshire College – Boston College’s new name in the area – will soon fill the middle floor.

The project saw South Holland District Council team up with the East Midlands Development Agency, Lincolnshire Enterprise, Boston College and Lincolnshire County Council to deliver investment into Spalding and regenerate a derelict site.

The Red Lion Quarter is run as a community interest company by a board of directors and last week the council said it is “fully supportive” of the board’s measures to cut the costs at the venue.