Drive to fill Red Lion Quarter

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Experts have been drafted in to create a multi-million pound education, hospitality and business complex at Spalding’s troubled Red Lion Quarter.

Owners of the £7.5million building, Boston College, have called in a firm of chartered surveyors to attract new tenants – including an entrepreneur keen to take on the empty Sage restaurant.

Lincoln-based Banks Long and Co says it is looking for first-class businesses for the office suites and retail unit – which have been vacant since the building, which was designed as a showcase for South Holland’s food heritage, opened to great fanfare in April 2011.

But within months the centre was being dubbed a “white elephant” as its centrepiece food hall failed to live up to the hype and attract shoppers.

It closed in October 2011, just six months after its high-profile opening, followed by the closure of Sage in September 2012.

Boston College bought the Red Lion Quarter in March last year and now offers training for 1,300 people in a range of subjects including teacher training, motor vehicle maintenance and hair and beauty.

Banks Long director James Butcher said: “We are pleased to have been asked to act on behalf of Boston College in offering an interesting range of opportunities within this superb contemporary development as it moves forward into a new era.

“Entrepreneurs and growing businesses have the chance to join existing tenants who already enjoy the benefits of the high quality accommodation within the building.”

A food heritage display celebrating South Holland’s food growing and processing expertise is due to open in the building’s atrium shortly and the doors will officially open on new hair and beauty salon, Style Academy, on April 17.