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Six ideas to boost Spalding - and spend the £20 million ‘left behind town’ money - from student writer Eloise Hodson





A new town board is putting together a plan to spend Spalding’s £20 million ‘left behind town’ money, but how can that be spent to entice more young people into the town centre.

We asked 16-year-old Eloise Hodson to offer her take on what the town needs…

As a young person in Spalding, I find it difficult to ignore the imperfections of the town. From what I have heard from older family members, friends and acquaintances, Spalding was once a buzzing market town. This is far from what I am seeing today.

Eloise Hodson has offered her opinion on how to improve Spalding town centre
Eloise Hodson has offered her opinion on how to improve Spalding town centre

I have compiled a list of improvements that could be implemented in order to restore Spalding back to its former glory.

Greenery

Throughout the town centre, trees could be planted in order to make the place generally more attractive. Considering we are known for tulips, I think more should be planted everywhere, potentially along the riverside.

More walking and bicycle routes could be added, as well as picnic benches, with the intention of encouraging a more social environment and making the town a more pleasant place to live and visit.

Events in the town centre

Like other surrounding towns and villages, Spalding could introduce meet-ups, festivals and markets in the town centre. A few examples could be bike nights, classic car meets and food festivals.

Also, regular dog meet-ups could begin, which will help to create a sense of community in the town. Events such as these will attract new people into the town as well as residents and will hopefully give a boost to local pubs, restaurants and shops. Making these events more regular will result in the town becoming a more lively centre for socialising.

Restoration of empty/derelict buildings

Using old, unused and empty buildings could open up a whole range of opportunities for the town. For example, small, independent businesses would have a place to start up, which would ignite a brand new range of shops in Spalding.

The likes of new record shops, music shops, collector’s shops and stationery shops could be added. This would encourage more people to visit the town and spend their money.

Eloise Hodson in Spalding town centre
Eloise Hodson in Spalding town centre

General refurbishment

For me, the aesthetic of the place I live in is very important. Simple things could be done, such as the painting of weathered buildings. Bright, cheerful colours could be used to make the town a more pleasant-looking area. Additional litter picking, cleaning and clearing should become a larger priority. More art and wall murals could be added to give the town more character and personality.

Wildlife

By providing the right habitats, I believe we can increase the amount of beneficial insects and animals into our environment. We could adapt sustainable land-use practices, as well as reserving and adding green areas and rivers for animals to dwell in. Recycling and litter picking is also a huge part of this.

Activities and facilities

One of the most common things young people complain about in Spalding is that ‘there is nothing to do’. To combat this, more sporting facilities could be set up, such as pool tables, dart boards, courts, pitches and studios.

Arts and crafts opportunities could be implemented, such as clubs for art, sewing, knitting, and crocheting. All of this will entice young people to go outside into Spalding to spend time with friends. It will generally boost the town’s shops and restaurants too.

What do you think about Eloise’s ideas? Let us know in the comments below…



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