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Businesses in Gainsborough indifferent over impact of £9 million Savoy Cinema

Businesses on Gainsborough Market Place are indifferent about the benefits a new multi-million pound cinema will bring to the town.

West Lindsey District Council is rolling ahead with an £18m investment programme for Gainsborough town centre, which includes upgrades to the bus station, new CCTV cameras, green spaces and the Market Square.

Placed within the Market Place will be a £9 million four-screen Savoy Cinema, with construction beginning earlier this year.

Gainsborough Market Place where a Savoy Cinema is being built
Gainsborough Market Place where a Savoy Cinema is being built

It is hoped that this will bring a footfall boost for the existing businesses in the area, but not all are convinced.

Paul works at David Jenkins Meats, but the butcher’s premises has been borderline invisible in the town for a number of months due to the works.

This, he says, has meant as many as 45% of his customer base have been lost.

“It’s been very hard work since this started,” he said. “It took them nearly two months to put signs up outside to say businesses are open as usual.”

He fears the cinema is a “waste of money” and argued that funding would be better spent doing up existing units, or finding business for the vacant shops in the area.

“I don’t think folk are going to use it during the day, it’ll be in the night time. You’ve got all these shops empty, why don’t you do something with them?

“For me, I wouldn’t bother with that cinema.”

Moji who works at The Fabric Shop, also on Market Place, acknowledged it maybe wouldn’t see more people directly come to her business, but it would attract general footfall instead.

“I think it’s what the town needs because you see youths on a Friday or Saturday night, just walking around endlessly with nothing to do.”

Another business owner, who asked to be kept anonymous, said it felt like a case of “us vs them” when looking at the focus on nearby Marshall’s Yard, rather than the Market Place and alternative areas of the town centre.

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