Alison Shipperbottom

Alison Shipperbottom is Marshall’s Yard Centre Manager

“A very safe community, a green area to enjoy, there’s little traffic – the town really is a wonderful place to live and work.”

Having lived, learned and worked in Gainsborough since I was 16, I’ve seen how far the town has come.

I’ve been the centre manager at the town’s retail centre, Marshall’s Yard, for eight years. As someone who is proud of the town and everything it has to offer, it has been a privilege to see all the changes that have happened over the last decade.

When I first moved to Gainsborough, I’d come from Worksop and went to school in Retford, so Gainsborough felt quite small in comparison. And then when Marshall’s Yard was first being spoken about, that was quite exciting, because it was going to extend the town centre and bring some of those big names to the area that weren’t even in Retford and Worksop.

So all of a sudden, we’d gone from being a smaller town centre to being somewhere that was going to have Laura Ashley, Next and M&S.

And what really makes Marshall’s Yard special is that all the stores take real pride in what they do. So all the store managers, and I can say this hand on heart, all of them are very passionate about customer service and making sure people get the best quality customer experience when they come here.

The retail offering now really is unique – we have people coming into the town centre, shopping at the market, then they might come back here, get a bottle of wine from M&S and a bouquet from the flower shop.

And now that the hotel and restaurant are up and running, the look of the town has really transformed.

I’ve never been able to pull myself away from Gainsborough. I worked in town centre regeneration for different locations, but I always thought it would be amazing to do that in Gainsborough where I live, and do it for Marshall’s Yard because it’s such a quality development.

And adding that into the broader picture of what Gainsborough has to offer – you’ve got a very safe community, you’ve got a very green area to enjoy, there’s very little traffic – the town really is a wonderful place to live and work.

You’re right in the middle of everything, you’ve got Lincoln, Sheffield, Leeds, all of those areas within very easy driving distance, so it’s really well positioned.

As a Place Board member, I love being an ambassador for Gainsborough. Making people feel proud of Gainsborough and speaking positively about the town, I think that’s massively beneficial.

Because it is a great town, I think people don’t realise sometimes just how good it is.