‘Time for town to move forward’

*Spalding Halley Stewart field, current home of Spalding Utd football club
*Spalding Halley Stewart field, current home of Spalding Utd football club
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News that grand plans for Spalding’s Holland Market are unlikely to go ahead has been given a cautious welcome.

Last week, Corbo, which owns the town centre retail park, revealed it is revising plans due to the tough economic climate but assured residents it is still committed to Spalding and some changes will go ahead.

It is believed the company has been unable to secure a deal with a supermarket chain – which would have provided the central focus of the multi-million pound revamp.

It would also have involved creating a new edge-of-town sports facility to provide a new home for Spalding United – currently based at the Sir Halley Stewart Field – and seen the bus station move from its current site.

But Michael Moran, Holland Market manager, hinted that existing shops could still be “turned round” to face the town centre.

Phil Scarlett, president of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce, said: “I have been expecting Corbo to come back and say that retailers are not expanding and they can’t get the commitment they need, so this news is no surprise.

“I think it could be a positive if Corbo do reconfigure the existing shops and the council do something to move the bus station.

“Everyone agrees the bus station is in the wrong place and the council is in a position to do something about it.

“We have to be realistic, but now it’s about moving forward and not stagnating.

“If those two things can still happen it gives Spalding a chance to compete with other towns and it could be a real positive.

“Instead of having all the debates about the future of Sir Halley Stewart field which we would have been having if the full plans were to go ahead, we can now concentrate on the things that can be delivered.”