Business Support Grants continue in West Lindsey as restrictions remain ‘very high’

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Following Government announcements yesterday, West Lindsey will remain in tier 3 for the next 14 days, staying on very high alert.

West Lindsey District Council would like to remind businesses within the district that grant support is still available for those who have been affected by the restrictions, and urges anyone who has not applied to get in touch.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Owen Bierley said: “We understand that the announcement will come as another blow to many businesses across the district.

“If you have not applied for any of the most recent grants, we urge you to check your eligibility and apply via our website. If you are unsure, please contact us and our officers will be able to offer guidance”.

Businesses that have been closed since Thursday 5 November and have remained closed, will not need to reapply for a business grant. Subject to Government guidelines, these businesses will be paid automatically. If you are a business who is yet to apply for the Closure Grant visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/businessclosuregrant.

For businesses who are open but continue to be impacted tier 3 restrictions should visit the Council’s website www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/businesssupport to see if they are eligible for grant support. Any business that has received grant funding previously do not need to reapply and will be paid automatically, subject to Government guidelines.

Last week the Council also opened the Christmas Support Grant for wed-led pubs. To qualify, pubs must predominantly serve alcohol (more than 50%) rather than food and have been forced to close as a result of the restrictions in place. A grant of £1000 is available for December only. For more information visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/businesssupport.

Cllr Bierley continued: “We would like to thank everyone who has followed the restrictions up until now. Please remember the basics of ‘hands, face, space’ in order to keep yourself and those around you safe.”

For more information about tier 3 restrictions visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

Help is also at hand for businesses in need of advice and support during COVID-19. Business Lincolnshire offer free impartial advice and support and are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Call 01522 782189 or email [email protected].

Their website also offers the latest information on funding and resources for businesses affected by COVID-19. For more information visit www.businesslincolnshire.com.

Lea Fields Crematorium take first place in national awards celebrating the best in Government services

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The APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) annual service awards took place on Wednesday 16 December, celebrating the very best in local government frontline services.

The Council are delighted to announce that Lea Fields Crematorium were announced winners of the Best Service Team of the Year: Cemetery and Crematorium Service category at a virtual ceremony, coming up against five other local authorities.

Chief Executive, Ian Knowles said:

“This year has been a real challenge for everyone at West Lindsey District Council – but one of our significant achievements of 2020 has been the opening of Lea Fields Crematorium; a £6m venture to bring a Crematorium into the district.

“I am incredibly thankful to everyone who has worked so tirelessly to not only make this happen, but to continue to make it happen throughout the pandemic – continuing to offer a range of beautiful services in an incredible setting. Staff at the Crematorium have put themselves in bubbles, worked around the clock and adapted incredibly throughout the year, and to them, and to everyone involved, I congratulate them for their efforts and for this award.”

Crematorium Manager, Deborah Balsdon also commented:

“More than £6 million was invested into the development of Lea Fields Crematorium, which was officially opened in January of this year. This award is yet more evidence that we have invested into an invaluable resource.

“It is a privilege to work at Lea Fields, and despite all the many challenges and obstacles we have faced this year, I am humbled and thankful to my staff for everything they have done to ensure we provide exceptional funeral services proudly and respectfully to the community.”

As previously reported, West Lindsey District Council were shortlisted as finalists for four awards this year which were:

  • Best Efficiency and Transformation Initiative – Green Garden waste
  • Best Service Team of the Year: Street Cleansing and Streetscene Service (Public Realm)
  • Best Service Team of the Year: Cemetery and Crematorium Service – Lea Field Crematorium
  • Best Service Team of the Year: Sports, Leisure and Cultural service – Trinity Arts Centre

Each category featured some worthy finalists, West Lindsey District Council would like to congratulate all the winners, and finalists in this year’s award ceremony.

The facility was also highly commended in the East Midlands LABC Building Excellence Awards earlier this year for Best Small Commercial Project and Best Public Service Building, which demonstrates the high-level quality of service they provide.

Lea Fields Crematorium opened in January 2020, the first facility of its kind within West Lindsey. Set in parkland near the village of Lea, just outside of Gainsborough the design of the site and materials used have been chosen to reflect the rural nature of the site and make the best use of the natural boundaries.

The geometric building has a beautiful double height spacious chapel that gives a sense of occasion and celebration, without a specific religious bias.

For more information about Lea Fields Crematorium, visit www.leafieldscrematorium.co.uk.

Businesses severely affected in latest lockdown can apply for new grant

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Grants are now available to support businesses in West Lindsey who have been severely affected by the restrictions of the second National lockdown but who have not been mandated to close.

The Open and Impacted Business Grant Scheme was launched today on Friday 27 November and if businesses are eligible they can receive between £500 and £2,100 depending on the size of the business.

To qualify for a grant, businesses must:

  • have been severely affected by the national lockdown restrictions (5 November – 2 December 2020).
  • must have remained open during the national level restrictions
  • have been registered and be the liable business rate payer on 5 November 2020, or can evidence rent/lease or mortgage payments for business premises.

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Owen Bierley said: “We know this is a difficult time for businesses and we are here to help where we can. Businesses may apply for this fund regardless of any other national or local COVID-19 grants or loans they have already received. Other support is available on our website.”

Businesses will need to provide information to demonstrate eligibility.

This includes:

  • Business Bank Statement
  • Most Recent Business Rates Bill or Signed Lease/Mortgage Statement with details of annual cost
  • Supporting statement evidencing how your business has been impacted
  • Declaration, including compliance with State Aid rules.

Information relating to our Grant schemes will be published on www.west-lindsey.gov.uk 

For the latest service disruptions visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/coronavirus

Townscape Heritage Initiative supports 2020 National Maintenance Week

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Heritage experts who are leading on a £1.96m project to restore the historic heart of Gainsborough, are encouraging property owners to maintain their buildings.

The Historic Heart of Gainsborough THI is managed by West Lindsey District Council with the backing of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The £1.96m investment in historic buildings and associated community engagement activities seeks to improve the standard of repair, maintenance and appearance of properties within the Town Centre Conservation Area of Gainsborough, focussing specifically on Lord Street and the Market Place.

The Gainsborough THI team is keen to support The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings’ (SPAB) 2020 National Maintenance Week, from 20-27 November, which aims to remind anyone who looks after a building – regardless of its age, type or purpose – of the simple, achievable steps they can take to prepare for the worst that winter can bring. #NationalGuttersDay will close the week on Friday 27 November. For more information, visit the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings’ website.

Jonathan Lee, Townscape Heritage Officer at West Lindsey District Council is passionate about historic buildings. He is keen to support National Maintenance Week, and is encouraging property owners keep their buildings maintained. He said:

“The best way to ensure that your building is performing well and of avoiding the need for expensive repairs and redecoration, is to maintain it properly. Proactive and planned maintenance always makes more sense than reactive repair. Avoidance of blockages and leaks will help to prevent water penetration, in turn reducing the damaging effects of damp and rot. This applies to any age of building, whatever its purpose – so it could be in relation to houses, shops, offices, schools, scout huts or sports pavilions”.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings top ten tips for National Maintenance Week:

  • Look for blocked downpipes (best done during heavy rain to see water coming from any leaky joints – in dry weather look for stained brickwork)
  • Check ground level gullies and drains to make sure they are clear of debris like and have them cleaned out if necessary
  • Every autumn, clear any plants, leaves and silt from gutters, hopperheads, flat roofs and drainage channels. It’s a good idea to do this in spring too to deal with anything that might have found its way into the wrong place
  • Remove potentially damaging vegetation from behind downpipes by cutting back or removing the plant altogether
  • Use a hand mirror to look behind rainwater pipes as splits and cracks in old cast iron and aluminium often occur here and are not easily noticed
  • Fit bird/leaf guards to the tops of soil pipes and rainwater outlets to prevent blockages
  • Have gutters refixed if they are sloping the wrong way or discharging water onto the wall
  • If sections are beyond repair, make sure that replacements are made of the same material as the originals (on older houses, this is sometimes lead, but more usually cast iron)
  • Regular painting of cast iron is essential to prevent rust
  • Don’t undertake routine maintenance work at high level unless you are accompanied and have suitable equipment. If in doubt always seek help from a professional

To find out more about the Gainsborough THI, read their latest news story.

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/councilnews

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Council welcomes new COVID testing centre in West Lindsey

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West Lindsey District Council has welcomed a new testing Centre in Gainsborough following a rise in Coronavirus infections nationally.

The new centre has been erected in the Riverside Car Park in the town centre and is expected to remain there for a minimum of three months.

Gainsborough ward member and also a town councillor, Cllr Matt Boles (pictured above) has welcomed the addition of the testing site to the district.

He said: “We can see that cases nationally continue to rise and by having a site in Gainsborough, we hope we will be able to ensure more people locally will be able to access a test much more easily.

“The Council has been working hard since the outbreak to put measures in place to support businesses with grants and advice, new signs for the town centre and much more. We have recently been handing out leaflets to take away establishments to remind customers of the symptoms of coronavirus, one if which is a change to your smell and taste.

“Our latest campaign Hands, Face Space, Let’s keep Gainsborough safe is aimed at urging local people to get a test if they have symptoms and for us all to do what we can to keep our community safe. We all have a personal responsibility to keep people safe. ”

Please be aware that whilst the testing centre is a walk in centre – people still have to book a test online by visiting www.gov.uk and if they are struggling to access a test online they can call 119.

Know the symptoms of Coronavirus:

  • High temperature
  • New, continuous Cough
  • Sense of smell/taste changes

If you do have a test at the Gainsborough test centre, remember please go straight home  – do not pick up any last minute shopping and self-isolate until your results are back.

Please remember these three simple steps can help keep people in West Lindsey safe:

  1. Hands, Face, Space. Keep washing your hands thoroughly, for 20 seconds.
  2. Use a face covering unless exempt.
  3. Keep two metres apart from others, or one metre plus precautions.

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/councilnews

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West Lindsey launch Business Closure Grant

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Grants are now available to support businesses in West Lindsey who have been forced to shut due to the restrictions of the second National lockdown.

The Business Closure Grant scheme was launched by West Lindsey District Council last week (Friday 13 November) and if businesses are eligible, they can receive between £1,334 and £3,000 depending on the size of the business.

To qualify for a grant, businesses must:

  • have been open as usual and have been providing in-person services to customers from their business premises on 4 November 2020 and then mandated to close by Government
  • still be closed due to national restrictions imposed on 23 March 2020 as a result of regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 i.e. nightclubs, entertainment venues etc.
  • have been registered and be the liable business rate payer on 5 November 2020, or can evidence rent/lease or mortgage payments for business premises (separate to place of residence)

Businesses that are required to close but then have diversified to remain open such as retaining a takeaway service or click and collect facility, may still be eligible for a grant.

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Owen Bierley said: “We know this is a difficult time for businesses and we are here to help where we can. Businesses may apply for this fund regardless of any other national or local COVID-19 grants or loans they have already received. Other support is available on our website.”

Businesses will need to provide information to demonstrate eligibility.

This includes:

  • Business Bank Statement
  • Most Recent Business Rates Bill or Signed Lease/Mortgage Statement with details of annual cost
  • Declaration, including compliance with State Aid rules.

In addition, West Lindsey District Council has been awarded additional funds to support businesses affected by the national lock down but not required to close. The guidance on this is currently being developed and will be published once this is finalised.

For more information go to www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/businessclosuregrant.

New cinema moves a step closer in Gainsborough!

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West Lindsey District Council has approved plans for a new multiplex cinema in Gainsborough Town Centre.

Planning permission was approved by Councillors at a virtual planning meeting last night (Wednesday 11 November).

As previously reported, a planning application was submitted to redevelop the old Lindsey Centre site to include a four-screen cinema complex, along with three other commercial units, and a car park.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Owen Bierley has welcomed the news but says given the current COVID pandemic, we need to be realistic in our expectations.

He said: “We are delighted as the local planning authority to see these exciting plans granted permission as we believe it would be a welcome asset to the leisure economy of the town.

“However, given we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed the challenges the entertainment sector has faced with many entertainment venues closed as we try to control the virus.

“With this in mind we recognise there may be some real challenges ahead but we are committed to continue to work with the leisure sector to work on plans for the future to make this long term vision become a reality.”

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/councilnews

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Go ahead given for North Parade Redevelopment

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The redevelopment of North Parade in Gainsborough has been given the final sign off to go ahead.

Social housing provider Acis Group were granted permission in May to demolish and redevelop the North Parade area of the town which has become derelict and a hotbed for antisocial behaviour in recent years.

And now, the redevelopment work can begin after funders Homes England gave the green light.

The area was demolished during the summer – a little earlier than Acis planned due to fire causing the buildings to become too unsafe to be left standing.

Acis Group, which owns and manages more than 7,000 homes across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, will bring 27 new family homes to the area. The homes will range from two, three and four-bed properties available for rent and shared ownership.

Work on the development will begin at the end of November with the first homes being available in December 2021.

Rob Main, Head of Property Development at Acis said: “I’m pleased that this part of our regeneration plans in Gainsborough can now begin.

“This is part of our continued commitment to developing new quality, affordable homes.”

The homes will be built by Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire and will provide much needed regeneration on the site alongside the homes built on neighbouring John Jenkinson Close in 2008.

Andy Coates, Construction Director at Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire said: “We’re delighted to be starting our third development with Acis, delivering high-quality, family homes and playing our part in the transformation of the area.”

For more information, visit www.acisgroup.co.uk

Keepmoat committed to deliver 454 new homes in West Lindsey

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West Lindsey District Council is excited to announce a new partnership with national housebuilder, Keepmoat Homes to bring forward the first phase of a new sustainable neighbourhood at Foxby Lane, Gainsborough.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the confidence from national investors such as Keepmoat in the Council and its regeneration plans – this will be their first development in Greater Lincolnshire.

The homes, which will be developed on land at Foxby Lane, (opposite Morrisons) in Gainsborough has been in the pipeline for many years but has now been approved.

Deputy Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Owen Bierley said: “This is a huge step forward in our plans to deliver homes in Gainsborough. I am pleased to confirm we have formally signed a grant funding agreement with Keepmoat Homes and a collaboration agreement with the Thonock and Somerby Estate.

“This scheme is the first investment Keepmoat have made into Greater Lincolnshire, which recognises our work to regenerate the town centre and our vision for a prosperous future for Gainsborough and West Lindsey.”

The development has been made possible thanks to the support from Homes England, which has allocated £2.19 million of Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to accelerate delivery of housing across England. Homes England has been a key partner and a great supporter of West Lindsey’s £18 million regeneration plan for Gainsborough.

Keepmoat will deliver a mix of modern, high quality two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, with a range of house types and styles to suit a diverse market in the thriving town. In total, they are looking to build 454 homes, which will be built in a tranquil woodland setting, adjacent to Warren Wood in the town, offering a green backdrop to the development.

As part of their commitment to the local community, Keepmoat Homes has pledged to support the local area and help generate opportunities in training and employment through the use of sub-contractors, work placements and educational visits to the site, which will be delivered throughout the lifetime of the project.

Dan Crew, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat Homes, said: “We’re delighted to be working with West Lindsey District Council and Homes England to deliver this exciting new project in Gainsborough. The acquisition is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our presence in the area and we believe the new development will transform the area and provide an opportunity to grow the town and its economy.

“As a company, we’re committed to providing new homes that support a range of buyers – from first time buyers to those looking to upsize and we’re confident that the first phase will help a lot of people achieve their dream of owning a new home.”

To support this new development, it is crucial that the right infrastructure is in place. The HIF funding will support the improvement of road infrastructure into the site, and improvements to electrical and water infrastructure. The development will also see improvements to increase capacity of the Lea Road/ Foxby Lane junction.

It will also see improved access into Warren Wood, there are also plans for the Woodland Trust to take over the management of Warren Wood, offering improved green spaces to residents of Gainsborough. The second phase is also expected to include a new primary school.

A date for construction to commence on site will be announced soon.

Cllr Tim Davies, ward member for Gainsborough has also welcomed the news. He said: “We have seen a huge amount of investment in the town over the last few years, including a new hotel, an improved train service to the town development of the riverside walk and much more.

“It is great to see that work on this area of the town will begin imminently as this is something many of us have been eagerly anticipating for some time. In addition to the housing it will be great to see the investment put into the infrastructure around this. Gainsborough is a great place to live and work and development such as this only enhance our local offer.”

Sophie White, Director of Infrastructure Grants at Homes England, said:

“We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure.

Our multimillion-pound funding will resolve much needed improvements to infrastructure on the Foxby Lane site, unlocking the site for housing and allowing West Lindsey District Council to deliver their vision for new homes.”

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/councilnews

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Townscape Heritage Initiative makes progress in Gainsborough

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Work has begun this year to restore the ‘historic heart of Gainsborough’ with thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Last year, West Lindsey District Council was successful in being awarded a £1.25 million grant that will be invested as part of a major project to restore historic buildings and heritage assets in the town centre.

The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) will improve the standard of repair, maintenance and appearance of properties within the Town Centre Conservation Area of Gainsborough, focussing specifically on Lord Street and the Market Place.

The total investment totals £1.96 million after contributions from West Lindsey District Council as well as third party and volunteer contributions.

Jonathan Lee, Townscape Heritage Officer at West Lindsey District Council will be leading the project and has made significant progress in making contact with property owners and helping them move forward with renovation work.

He said: “Gainsborough has suffered from under-investment and progressive erosion of historic buildings’, shopfronts’ and architectural features, over many decades. With National Lottery Heritage Fund backing, third party grants are available to owners of 28 properties, enabling significant repair and maintenance, including the redevelopment of empty shops, reinstatement of some historic architectural features and enhanced maintenance to windows of flats and offices above.

“I am passionate about historic buildings and will ensure that repair and reinstatement works in Gainsborough are implemented in accordance with best practice, using appropriate traditional materials, by competent conservation contractors and will then be properly maintained by the owners”.

The project will also include a programme of activities to inform and educate the public about their historic environment. Historic research and interpretation will be undertaken by volunteers from the Gainsborough community, school and college pupils, as well as students from the University of Lincoln, all developing their enjoyment and understanding of heritage, as well as practical heritage skills.

The programme will enable those who live in, or visit Gainsborough to appreciate the fascinating diversity of heritage, encouraging enthusiasm to preserve it. A well-developed and fully costed programme of community engagement activities has been created and will be overseen by a well-qualified and highly experienced Activities Co-ordinator, Theresa Workman.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the people of Gainsborough and helping them understand the renovation work. One of my aims for this project is to be able to build a generation of people who understand the history of the town a bit better and see Gainsborough become a beautiful and attractive heritage destination”.

Theresa has also worked in Gainsborough previously as Community Engagement Officer at Gainsborough Old Hall.

She added: “I am delighted to be able to return to Gainsborough under the umbrella of the Townscape Heritage Initiative to restore the charm and grandeur of its historic heart; and to share its impressive past with the local community and the wider audience who will be inspired to visit”.

Chair of the Leisure, Culture, Events & Tourism Group and Heritage Champion at the Council, Cllr Paul Howitt-Cowan said:

“I am delighted that work is progressing on the Townscape Heritage Initiative in Gainsborough. This project will breathe new life into our old buildings and unlock the potential of Gainsborough’s heritage assets.

“The cultural and skills offer within this project will also seek to connect under-represented groups with our town’s unique and often under-appreciated heritage”.

To find out more about the team, watch the youtube video below:

This project has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and is a five-year project expected to complete in September 2024. The project is supported by the Gainsborough Townscape Heritage Partnership with representatives from the Gainsborough Heritage Association, West Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Gainsborough Town Council, Gainsborough Place Board, University of Lincoln and the Gainsborough Queen Elizabeth’s High School.

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk or follow @westlindseydc on Twitter or find us on Facebook /WestLindseyDistrictCouncil.

Photographed in the above image, from left to right, Wendy Osgodby (Senior Growth Strategy and Projects Officer), Theresa Workman (Activities Co-ordinator) and Jonathan Lee (Townscape Heritage Officer).