Exciting new plans for South Kesteven were revealed by the council as it revealed its £40m masterplan at a major economic ‘summit’ at Stoke Rochford Hall
In a passionate speech to an audience of more than 180 guests from the private and public sectors, Cllr Lee outlined the council’s ambitions, how they will be delivered and his determination that the economic benefit be felt by all.
The Leader was joined by Steve Bowyer, who explained more about the new inward investment team, Ursula Lidbetter MBE, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Learning and Enterprise Partnership and Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership.
In a wide-ranging speech, Cllr Lee outlined a series of investments for each of the district’s four market towns, as well as its 80-plus rural villages, all of which will either be completed or underway by 2020.
The Council calculates that its £40 million investment programme could attract as much as £400 million of private money in the next three years and as much as £1.2 billion in 20 years’ time. That’s an increase of more than 40%. And that’s on top of the impressive growth already forecast for the period.
Initiatives include new office accommodation for all four market towns, including a new digital ‘hub’ in Stamford and a new, 10,000 square metre facility in The Deepings, as well as ‘micro-hubs’ in rural areas.
Other plans include a 200-desk space for micro-businesses to complement the new cinema in Grantham and the development of a new ‘Heritage Quarter’ from St Wulfram’s to Westgate in the town.
In Bourne, there will be new serviced offices for micro businesses in the town centre and new housing opportunities just off the high street for families to promote ‘town centre living’ and help maintain footfall.
Cllr Lee also promised new leisure centres for Stamford and The Deepings, a festival for Bourne and a new strategy to help revive the district’s markets.
The Leader said: “The summit marks a sea-change for South Kesteven District Council – the point at which we have stopped talking about change and started delivering it.
“I am delighted by the response we have had to the summit, which has underlined to me what an important role we politicians play in providing confidence and clarity in our ambitions. Everything flows from that.”
“Fundamentally, we want businesses to start up in our district, grow in our district and recruit from our district. We will do everything in our power to accommodate the needs of new and growing companies.”
“Despite years of talk about austerity, SKDC is in a relatively fortunate financial position, with strong reserves and little borrowing. We have the money and I believe it is our responsibility to put it to work for our district.”