Chairman of Bourne Business Chamber praises South Kesteven District Council’s economic strategy

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A BUSINESS leader has praised a council’s vision for his town.

South Kesteven District Council unveiled its economic strategy for the next year at a breakfast meeting at The George Hotel in Stamford today (Wednesday).

The strategy puts much focus on physical infrastructure and commercial development.

The council’s strategic director for development and growth, Ian Yates, pointed to the Wherry’s Lane redevelopment and the community access point scheme in Bourne and the Eventus business centre in Market Deeping as key examples of what the council wanted to achieve.

Chairman of Bourne Business Chamber, Paul Ross, thinks the council is moving in the right direction. He said: “I think the plans for Wherry’s Mill look brilliant. Anything like that is good for the town.

“Bourne has always been classed as a sleeper town but it is really becoming more vibrant.”

Work started on the council’s £2.14m project to redevelop Wherry’s Lane this month. The Wherry’s Mill building will be converted into apartments. New shops and flats will be built alongside it. In total, seven shops and 14 apartments will be built.

The district council originally wanted to redevelop a wider area around Wherry’s Lane in a £40m scheme, but the recession meant those plans had to be scaled back. The smaller-scale project is seen by councillors as a catalyst to further development.

Work has also started on plans to turn Bourne Corn Exchange into a one-stop-shop for council and community services at a cost of £260,000.

The new community access point will include the library, the county, district and town council offices and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Mr Ross thinks the Wherry’s Lane development will attract more business to the town. He said: “With all the extra houses coming in, something needs developing. From what I understand Bourne has the lowest amount of vacant shops in South Kesteven. I am confident they will all be filled.”

The council’s strategy also includes plans to improve training and skills support and make town centres more attractive.