Home   Grantham   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Grantham Market revamp to get South Kesteven District Council debate





A controversial redevelopment and possible solutions for struggling businesses are to be discussed at a meeting next week.

South Kesteven District Council will include an agenda item on the £4.1 million plans, which include works to remove Grantham’s Market Place parking and install natural stone to raise the road to a single-level event space, at its annual general meeting on Thursday next week (May 23).

Councillors from surrounding wards have called for leaders' support for businesses impacted by the works.

Roadworks are in place for the Market Place works in Grantham. Photo: RSM Photography
Roadworks are in place for the Market Place works in Grantham. Photo: RSM Photography

Councillors, including Charmaine Morgan (Ind) and county highways executive Richard Davies (Con), have called for relief in business rates, while Coun Matt Bailey (Con) wants a £50,000 hardship fund to be created.

The meeting will include “possible interventions to encourage footfall and support businesses" including the use of budgets, reserves, or some of the UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF) by which the works are already paid for.

South Kesteven District Council leader, Coun Ashley Baxter (Ind), said: “Given the level of public interest in the Market Place works, I have suggested that they be discussed as an agenda item at the Council’s forthcoming Annual Meeting.

South Kesteven District Council leader Ashley Baxter
South Kesteven District Council leader Ashley Baxter

“This will give Coun Bailey an opportunity to explain his ideas alongside other suggestions for measures to mitigate the current problems and to fully exploit the new opportunities which the refurbished Market Place will offer.

“SKDC has no powers to reduce business rates and businesses should approach the Valuation Office Agency if they wish to apply for a temporary reduction in their rateable value for the duration of the roadworks.”

The move negates the need for an extraordinary meeting.

Roadworks are in place for the Market Place works in Grantham. Photo: RSM Photography
Roadworks are in place for the Market Place works in Grantham. Photo: RSM Photography

The works, which began last week, aim to restore the Market Place as the town’s heart and encourage its growth.

However, they are planned to last 22 weeks, and businesses fear that the road being closed for that length of time will deter visitors and disrupt footfall, especially if traffic builds up along diversion routes, causing people to consider shopping elsewhere.

Concerns have also arisen regarding the safety of the single-level Market Place for vulnerable or disabled residents once completed, and potential traffic safety issues if vehicles accidentally leave the road.

Roadworks are in place for the Market Place works in Grantham. Photo: RSM Photography
Roadworks are in place for the Market Place works in Grantham. Photo: RSM Photography

Coun Charmaine Morgan said previously: “The visual impact of the scheme goes well beyond the plan, with Westgate shops and parking affected by barriers.”

Coun Matt Bailey said: “SKDC has moved forward with unnecessary disruption during their busiest time; only SKDC can put it right.”.

South Kesteven is leading on the plans, with LCC as the Highways Authority carrying out road closures and diversions on their behalf.

The county advised against the current plans, but SKDC moved forward, leaving the upper-tier authority in a supporting role.

Coun Davies said: “If we can do something just to soften the blow a little bit, then that can only be a good thing, but we do need the district council as the rate collectors to get on board with it.”

The ongoing Market Place works are part of a broader initiative that started in 2019.

Emphasising the investment, Coun Baxter previously said the council would rely on collaboration with Lincolnshire County Council and contractor Taylor Woodrow to minimise disruptions.

Acknowledging the call for solutions, he advised: “Such options are limited, but businesses could approach the Valuation Office Agency for a temporary reduction in their rateable value for the duration of the roadworks.”

Businesses are keen to point out that they remain open while the works are being carried out and that some parking is still available.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More