CABINET CALL: By South Holland Council deputy leader Nick Worth
One of my main remits as the cabinet member for commercialisation and growth is to bring investment and jobs into the area.
I find it interesting how one thing can lead to another and when you hit on the flavour of the moment, investment soon follows on.
In local government, long term strategic planning is key to investment and much to my frustration and no doubt others, can be years in the planning, but the result usually justifies the effort.
Currently in South Holland there are two major areas for investment. In Spalding the much talked about western relief road is one of those long term strategies for improvements to the road infrastructure on the back of major housing development and is a key policy of the South East Local Plan.
In Holbeach the much-needed Peppermint Junction roundabout is about to begin construction.
It has been eight years since it was first highlighted in the Holbeach Parish Plan and through constant nagging and inclusion in various strategic plans, has now brought in over £5million of investment for not one, but two roundabouts.
It has also lead to the proposed Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ), for which further investment was announced in the budget just last week.
A total of £6.5million will be allocated to the three food enterprise zones in Lincolnshire, so going back to my earlier comment, the flavour (excuse the pun!) of the moment – food enterprise zones – has now brought in serious additional investment to what started off as a project to relieve a dangerous junction.
Springfields is undoubtedly a success story for South Holland, attracting more than 2.3 million people last year alone. The owners have invested over £3m in site improvements and have ambitious plans for expansion.
The trick for us is to encourage those visitors to Spalding and our other towns and make Spalding a weekend destination of choice.
We should be using those visitor figures to get a much better train service to Spalding, encouraging more people into the town centre.
All the above investment makes South Holland a place where people want to come to live, work and enjoy.
Now we have to make it work to our best advantage and keep the foot to the pedal.