Tax payers bail out Red Lion Quarter

Red Lion Quarter, Spalding
Red Lion Quarter, Spalding
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COUNCIL bosses will step in to clear the debts of the struggling Red Lion Quarter in Spalding – and will now ask councillors to decide on the future of the £6.5million centre.

South Holland District Council has agreed to fork out a “substantial sum” to pay off its creditors – many of which are local firms. The size of the debt has not been revealed because of “commercial confidentiality”.

Officers have now drawn up a plan for the Red Lion Quarter for the council’s cabinet to decide upon. It includes the option to temporarily close the food court.

Staff there were warned last week that their futures are uncertain.

The proposal documents are expected to be made public today.

The council stressed no decisions have been made yet and says it still believes in the original “vision” of the centre – to celebrate the food heritage of the area.

District deputy leader Nick Worth said: “We still believe in the founding vision of the Red Lion Quarter and I am certain it has an important role to play in the long-term economic future of the district.

“The Red Lion Quarter’s primary objective is to showcase the many and varied produce Lincolnshire has to offer and its proud food heritage.

“We have never lost sight of this or the aim to provide a unique opportunity for food producers to market their products.”

The Free Press understands that the options do not involve handing the building over to Boston College – which has students on the middle floor – and any closure of the food court would be on a temporary basis while managers look to a “refocusing strategy”.

Last week three of the 12 office units were let but there have been no takers for the ground floor shops.