It’s looking bloomin’ good

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Summer’s here and we think it’s time to feel the love. Spot the hearts in the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press and you’ll find stories to inspire you and make you smile. Because we think there’s a lot to be proud of in South Holland...

This week we are especially loving the Red Lion Hotel in the Market Place, now the scaffolding has been removed to reveal a feshly painted exterior.

With the flower baskets going up on the Grade II listed building yesterday, it has helped transform the centre, along with work previously done at Spalding News and Thomas Cook travel agents.

Nigel Wilkins, co-owner of the family business, says he is proud of the work. He said: “We secured grants from the district council and the Heritage Lottery Fund for the windows and thought we may as well put more scaffolding up and paint the outside.

“We are really pleased with how it looks.”

With plans for part of the former White Hart Hotel, another Grade II listed building, and LloydsPharmacy set to move into the neighbouring ex-Wimpy burger bar, signs are looking good that the town centre is on its way to regaining its vibrancy – even before the appointment of the new town centre manager.

In the meantime, hopes are being pinned on the stunning display of hanging baskets winning a gong for the town in this year’s In Bloom contest.

Phil Scarlet, president of the Spalding and district Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “It all depends on if the sun shines on the day, but this year more shops than ever are displaying baskets.”

Residents are already feeling the love. Kevin Howlett said: “I came from London 13 years ago. It’s much cleaner and the people are so friendly around here.”

Ellen Bowman: “Spalding is a nice little town. It’s only when you return after going away that you fully realise what we have.”

Lesley Bayston, Katy Chilvers, Eydee Chilvers: “The river bank is pretty and the water taxi is lovely as it is something a bit different.”