Spalding town centre manager goes a year early to pursue singing

Outgoing town centre manager Dennis Hannant to pursue his singing career. SG180315-1090TW
Outgoing town centre manager Dennis Hannant to pursue his singing career. SG180315-1090TW
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Ex-Army Major Dennis Hannant will leave his three-year post as Spalding town centre manager (TCM) a year early by “mutual agreement”.

Mr Hannant (61), appointed in autumn 2014, goes at the end of this month to focus on singing.

He hopes to work on cruise ships and as a wedding singer and says his decision to leave was prompted by two things: his future career and the town’s apparent unreadiness to become a business improvement district (BID).

“I wanted the town to move to a BID situation straight away and I don’t think the town is ready for it,” he said. “I didn’t think it was right to stay in the job when the agreement for my funding was that we move to a BID situation at the end.”

There will be no replacement and surplus cash for the TCM post will revert to the S106 pot “for redistribution for the good of the town”, according to Spalding Town Centre Management Board (STCMB) chairman Matt Clark.

Spalding traders voted on a BID in 2009, with 75 per cent of those taking part rejecting the idea.

But STCMB is again looking at a BID and has engaged professional consultants.

Mr Clark said: “Our board is now in the third year of existence, therefore our main objective, defined by our initial funding bid, is to explore solutions to sustaining the services provided by (the) TCM.

“We have explored other opportunities for funding – including taking on council services and grants – without success, therefore it is solely the potential of a BID that will now be explored.

“We have engaged with professional consultants to obtain quotes to produce a feasibility report in relation to a BID; the appointed company most notably have worked extensively with Nottingham BID, therefore have the experience to produce a quality report, but at a reasonable price.

“If the report indicates that a BID would be successful, the process will be most likely taken forward by a new committee, or pre-BID board.

“Therefore the TCM Board is expected to disband early, but not before we have the submission of the report already commissioned and a recommendation forward.”

Mr Clark said as STCMB objectives of years one and two were complete, it had “been mutually agreed for the TCM to step aside”.

He said: “I would like to publicly thank Dennis for his time with us. My personal 
experience is that he is a sterling town centre manager 
and community leader. His hard work and dedication to the role, the board, the local traders and the town as a whole is exceptional. It has never been an easy task, to work with so many in trying to achieve so much, therefore his perseverance certainly deserves applause.”