Home   Stamford   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Call for South Kesteven District Council to put aside £50,000 support fund for Market Place works





A councillor says authority leaders should set aside £50,000 to support businesses impacted by three months of works on the Market Place.

District councillor Matt Bailey (Con) has called for an extraordinary general meeting of South Kesteven District Council to create the 'hardship' fund, as well as giving people and businesses in Grantham an opportunity to voice their concerns.

Works began last week on a £4.1 million project, which includes removing Market Place parking, installing a new natural stone surface, and creating a single-level space across the whole area for events.

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

Businesses are still open around and nearby the market, and the area is still accessible by foot.

However, they fear the three months of work will deter visitors by causing traffic disruption in the surrounding roads and preventing those who need to collect purchases from doing so.

Councillors at district and county level have already called for Business Rates to be relieved in some way to compensate those affected.

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

“Enough is enough; it’s time to directly support our local businesses,” said Coun Bailey, whose St Wulframs Ward covers the area.

“I am not prepared to stand idly by as businesses risk going out of business. With disappointingly no commitment to business rate cuts, action needs to be taken.'

“SKDC have moved forward with unnecessary disruption during their busiest time; only SKDC can put it right.

The plans for Grantham Market Place.
The plans for Grantham Market Place.

“Reassurance and support are what’s needed for our businesses at this critical time.”

Coun Bailey believes there is little public support for the works.

Lincolnshire County Council advised against the plans, but now that SKDC has moved forward, it is carrying out a supporting role in the roadworks.

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

Last week, LCC’s executive councillor for highways, Richard Davies (Con), joined others such as district Councillor Charmaine Morgan (Ind), who sits in the St Vincent’s Ward, in calling for business rate relief to be considered.

They believe the move would go some way towards tackling the issue of reduced footfall impacting businesses' revenue.

SKDC leaders have previously stated that the works are part of a broader initiative aimed at revitalising Grantham’s town centre.

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

They have promised to work with LCC and contractor Taylor Woodrow to ensure timely completion while minimising disruptions to businesses.

However, they have said it’s too early to say what impact there will be.

The council has advised businesses themselves to demonstrate to the Valuation Office Agency what impact there has been on their premises and bid for temporary reductions in their rateable values.

“Local councillors in Grantham have, quite understandably, asked if it is possible to offer financial compensation to businesses if they can demonstrate that the ongoing works have had a severe financial impact on their trade,” said leader Coun Ashley Baxter (Ind) previously.

“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.”

Despite disruptions, they reassured that most businesses, including stallholders, continue trading, with available parking options for shoppers.

South Kesteven District Council had not responded to a request for comment in response to Coun Bailey’s suggestion at the time of publication.



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