Spalding traders draw up wish list

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TRADERS have drawn up a “shopping list” of improvements they would like to see made to Spalding town centre to counteract the negative impact an extension of Holland Market could have.

Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce fears as yet unrevealed plans to expand the edge-of-town retail area could result in less shoppers venturing into the town centre and put added pressure on already-stretched parking provision on key trading days.

There are also concerns the new shops could lead to an increase in crime as more people travel from further afield to do their shopping and that town centre traders could be hit hard by competition from new shops.

Members have now drawn up a wish-list of projects which they would like Section 106 money – which would be given to South Holland District Council by developers if their plans for Holland Market were approved – to be spent on.

The top priority would be to improve the access between Holland Market and the town centre via the Pied Calf Yard or Kwik-Fit by the removal of buildings and the addition of an attractive walkway, which the chamber hopes would improve the flow of shoppers between the two areas.

Their other “wishes” focus on making the town centre more attractive to shoppers, with a five-day covered market – perhaps for arts and crafts – at the top of the list, as well as a dedicated town centre manager to organise events and market the town and new high-level wrought iron street signs identifying niche shopping areas such as The Crescent and Red Lion Street.

If the chamber gets its way Spalding’s one-day Food Festival would also be made into a much bigger event to attract visitors and new street rangers would be employed to guide visitors as well as provide security and tackle anti-social behaviour.

New directional signs between Holland Market and the town centre, flowers and shrubs in planters all year round and regular clean-ups of grot-spots are also highlighted as important, as are improvements to the riverbank area and better use of the Welland and Coronation Channel.

What do you think of the traders’ wishes? What else would you like to see included? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk