When it first emerged the Red Lion Quarter was in a dire financial situation the local press pursued this with much vigour and gusto, identifying all those involved and the roles they had played in the fiasco.
However, the manner in which the sale of the building is being soft pedalled and drip-fed to the public, would suggest that apathy has set in and that it might be better to “move on”.
Firstly, it was reported that the building was to be transferred to Boston College, who would be fully responsible for the development.
A request to clarify the term “transfer” went unanswered. One week later it is reported that the RLQ was to be sold to Boston College (something even the dimmest of us anticipated) for a disappointing amount.
We were also told that the project ,once thought to have cost £6.5million, had in fact cost “in excess of £7.5million” and that the council had invested “in excess of £1.5million” – how much in excess?
However, we were told that there is a happy ending, as Spalding now has a fantastic learning centre – which is a bit like ordering fillet steak and getting Spam.
Isn’t it time that the local press started asking awkward questions and revealed the true cost to the public?
The RLQ was supposed to bring in big names, generate a good income and encourage businesses to open up in the town, in the belief that Spalding may once again be a town worth visiting.
Sadly, despite the delusional claims of the economic development manger, it will take more than £100,000 from “Mary Portas” to make Spalding attractive.
EDITOR: The Red Lion Quarter saga is one of a number of long-running stories on which we regularly report.
In the last month alone there have been two front pages and a page three lead on the issues, plus a story on today’s page two.
For clarity, the report showed the district council spent “well in excess of £1million”, not £1.5million.