Businesses, walking tours, a book and a film – all themed on King John’s lost treasure – could be the way forward for boosting tourism and the economy in South Holland.
We recently asked our readers to come up with some BIG ideas that could help shape Spalding and South Holland over the next three decades.
Zoemarie Sheldon (35) and her partner, Martin Morris (37), have been dreaming up the biggest of BIG ideas for the last three years and hope cash backers will see the potential of telling the story of King’s John’s lost treasure and the Magna Carta.
Among their plans are:
l A book available on ebook about a metal detector hero who is obsessed with King John (with potential for game spin-offs);
l A blockbuster film about King John;
l Walking tours in King John’s footsteps which could be linked to things like art tours, river tours and war tours;
l Community history and art on the roundabouts of South Holland and Boston.
The couple are also eyeing up land at Wingland, Sutton Bridge, where a power station company wants to site a visitor centre.
Zoemarie and Martin feel the land could be put to better use and they have their own ideas for an interactive Wash visitor centre.
They would like to see the centre include things like its own Wash swimming pool with a glass bottom where a replica of the lost treasure of King John can be seen, a butterfly dome to replace the closed butterfly and wildlife park at Long Sutton, a snow dome, a music/performance dome, a crazy golf course with each hole representing an historic feature in South Holland and Boston, an art gallery to display local artists’ work, a roller dome with roller skating and a disco to generate income and an IT zone with digital media training.
Zoemarie, a children’s entertainer from Gedney, has already had talks about the King John themed projects with MP John Hayes, a leading local businessman and the arts project Transported.
She said: “You can see the scale of the project. It’s massive. There’s about 20 different businesses in one.”
In their outline, Zoemarie writes: “We believe that this project can put South Holland and Boston back on the map. It will boost the local economy, provide training for the creative industry and produce a better place to live.
“The project will bring history back to life by using artistic innovations and it will increase local services, build the skills of local people, increase community cohesion and respond to local economic needs of the area.”
Zoemarie says the project will bring “a sense of economic success to the area”.