Town Deal Update from Boston
Officially opened by Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, our CEO and Boston Town Deal Board Member, Charlotte Goy, went along to the Boston Town Deal Exhibition Event and we're thrilled to be able to report back plenty of exciting news and developments on Boston's projects.
The event welcomed the Leader of Boston Borough Council Cllr Anne Dorrian, fellow councillors who came along throughout the afternoon and representatives of all the Town Deal projects, Levelling Up, and UK Shared Prosperity, who were also on hand to share an update on their work and chat to attendees about the funding and the real difference it is making to Boston. In addition, the St Botolph’s team offered tours of the Stump’s library, as its refurbishment - one of the projects funded by Town Deal money - continues.
Boston Town Deal
Following the exhibition event, guests were given a presentation by Neil Kempster, Chair of the Boston Town Deal, who provided an overview of the story so far. Neil also answered questions from the public. If you couldn't attend, or simply fancy some in-depth viewing, a prerecorded version of the presentation can be watched here.
Throughout the day, people were treated to a viewing of the Boston Town Deal Film, which was shown for the first time at the event but more on that later. The event was the perfect opportunity for all parties to be able to outline the work of the Town Deal to the people of Boston, to raise awareness of what is being done to make their town a better place to live, work, visit and invest in.
Boston Town Deal Film
Made to accompany this year’s annual report, the Boston Town Deal Film was shown at the event to tell the story of the progress so far, across all of the projects. The film features interviews with Matt Warman MP and the Leader of Boston Borough Council Cllr Anne Dorrian.
Highly digestible and easy to understand, the film highlights the breadth of the projects that are currently being funded through the Town Deal as the Board strives to achieve a better Boston for everyone. The film also outlines the future role of the Town Deal Board concerning other funding pots that have been earmarked for Boston, and how they will be optimised to help achieve the collective vision held for the town.
The Mayflower - a £10m flagship project, being led by Boston College, will see a new learning centre for adults built opposite the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex. This is projected to be a space that inspires, a place where people can meet to think about business and provide new opportunities for learning within the town.
The Boston Leisure Project - Part funded by £2.4m from the Boston Town Deal, this project will redevelop the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex providing a new health, wellbeing and fitness suite and much-needed modern ‘village’ type changing facilities. The leisure and training pools will be better connected under one roof. Outside, a new community plaza will connect the hub with the neighbouring Boston College Mayflower project, creating a new, attractive outdoor space for people to use and enjoy.
Centre of Food and Fresh Produce Logistics - With £2m from the Tow deal, this project works to provide support to businesses based in Boston, working across three areas - Business Support, Technical and Scientific projects and Workforce Development. Capital grants with – 50% as the match funding required of up to £10,000 – are also available to put towards buying equipment.
Boston Railway Station - £2.5m has been pledged for the refurbishment of Boston Railway Station which will include full restoration of the main station building while preserving its heritage features. New facilities will include a community café, community room and start-up office units. The waiting room, the parent and baby facility and toilet facilities will be refurbished. Further improvements will see upgrades to the security systems, the WIFI, and the customer information that is available in digital formats. Improvements will also be made outside including platform resurfacing, overbridge improvements, improved access, wayfinding – such as signage – and cycle provision.
Healing the High Street - £3.9m will go towards transforming Boston’s historic town centre for locals and visitors through several improvements. Grants are being offered to building owners so that they can invest in repairing and restoring historic features to their buildings, while improvements to the surrounding public area and green spaces will also take place to return Boston’s town centre to its former glory.
St Botolph's Library and Lighting - £228k fund humidity, temperature and light controls in the library ensuring it can finally be opened to the public and accessed as part of the Stump's tours. St Botolph’s holds an impressive library of over 1,000 books, the oldest being Augustine’s work on Genesis dating back to 1170. This exciting project will protect the historic catalogue of books by creating a more stable environment through new heating, lighting and UV protection.
Blenkin Memorial Hall - with work now complete on the repair, renovation, and redevelopment of the Blenkin Memorial Hall it's fantastic to see the impact a completed Town Deal project can have. This building, which plays an important role as a community hub for Boston, has benefited from internal and external improvements thanks to £810,000 in Towns Fund investment.
As MP Matt Warman said in the video, 'Levelling Up Funding is about investing in places so that they feel loved, it's about changing areas so people can see how much we value these places but also in a way that's sustainable for the future to create areas where people want to go out and spend time but also that fulfil really useful public service functions'.
From supporting the night-time economy to health and academic services and everything in between, Boston's big investment from the central Government will ensure it is a town with a future that can stand on its own two feet. in the long run. All of these projects, when combined, will create a vibrant accessible place where people want to spend time and enjoy. You can watch the film here.
Engaging the Next Generation
Before the public event, students from Haven High Academy and Boston College attended the exhibition, in a dedicated session just for young people. The students, aged 14 upwards, visited the stands, spoke to project leads, and watched the Boston Town Deal film. In addition, a number of the young people also took part in tours of St Botolph’s Library.
The students were encouraged to leave their feedback and share their views on the projects and plans and what they would like to see for Boston. It was fantastic to hear their thoughts and some of the comments offered included:
“Love all the projects but concerned about how some spaces are maintained after.”
“Lots of interesting ideas, just feel like we could have more branded shops in town.”
This generation will be vital in the progression and innovation of our visitor economy, so their presence and feedback on the day were invaluable.