New vision for Spalding as tourism centre

Dennis Hannant ready to deliver his masterplan. SG180315-192TW
Dennis Hannant ready to deliver his masterplan. SG180315-192TW
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A new vision of Spalding as the centre of a tourism region has been welcomed by local businesses.

After just five months in the job, Spalding town centre manager Dennis Hannant delivered his masterplan for the town – the Springfields Effect - at an open meeting on Wednesday.

The ultimate aim will be to promote what we have and say ‘come and have a look at us’

Town centre manager Dennis Hannant

In spite of many traders blaming the outlet centre for its lack of vibrancy, the evening attracted an audience of just 14 - mostly members of Spalding and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, a few business owners and other interested parties.

Mr Hannant said it was nice to see one or two new faces and stressed the need to look beyond the town’s boundaries to the wider south Lincolnshire, Wash and Fens regions to promote the area and draw people in.

He said: “The ultimate aim will be to promote what we have in the area and say to people ‘come and have a look at us’.”

In order to attract people, he said the town would have to work together to become clean and attractive – which is where he used Springfields as an example. He said: “What is there not to like about Springfields? It has ample affordable parking, it is clean, well-laid out, bright, with welcoming shop displays.

“The town centre is grubby - you don’t see the shops that have made the effort for the ones that don’t. This has to change, but it will not happen immediately.”

In the meantime, he said there is a number of events being planned to promote the town, including a new cycling event in May and a food festival in August.

Visit Spalding this Easter - a joint television advertising promotion with Springfields – will broadcast from Saturday to April 6. A flyer promoting Springfields and the centre is also being produced jointly.