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Welcome Back Fund signals festive fun for South Kesteven high streets in Stamford, Bourne and Grantham

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Shoppers will be greeted by a colourful balloon-modelling elf or a cheeky reindeer stilt-walker as they hunt down gifts for Santa’s stocking in South Kesteven towns during the next couple of weeks.

The festive treat has come about thanks to a cash injection of £252,909 from the Government's Reopening High Streets Safely/Welcome Back Fund.

South Kesteven District Council will be using some of the funding to create a little more wonder around the spirit of Christmas – while helping underpin the recovery of town centres.

The fund will help the high streets of South Kesteven embrace the Christmas spirit. (53705439)
The fund will help the high streets of South Kesteven embrace the Christmas spirit. (53705439)

In the weeks prior to Christmas a variety of street performers will entertain shoppers in our high streets and marketplaces.

A ‘Bubble Elf’, a stilt-walking balloon modeller, the reindeer stilt walker and ‘Circus Elf’ will all add a touch of glitter to the Christmas magic that the town centres around the district already provide at this time of year, which was kicked off with the glow of a thousand festive lights and several seasonal markets in the area.

Councillor Rosemary Trollope-Bellew (Con), SKDC’s cabinet member for culture and visitor economy, said: “As we countdown to Christmas Day, we are welcoming these street performers to our towns to entertain shoppers.

The bubble elf. (53705446)
The bubble elf. (53705446)

"We invite people back to our bustling high streets and vibrant town centres to do their Christmas shopping and to enjoy the festivities.

“We are delighted to have secured this funding so we can support families by providing free entertainment over the school holidays and help support our local businesses.

"We know these events will be really popular, so we ask everyone to continue to stay safe and socially distance."

The first phase of the town centres marketing and promotional push will be delivered over the festive period and includes a variety of street entertainers visiting the four towns of Stamford, Bourne, Market Deeping and Grantham.

Reindeer stilt-walkers. (53705436)
Reindeer stilt-walkers. (53705436)

It will be paid for by part of the £252,909 Government award.

It supports SKDC's ambitions to protect and create jobs within the district and develop the town centres and high streets of our four towns, as well as build on, and celebrate, the rich heritage and culture of the district

Here is the full list of events including dates and times:

  • Thursday Dec 16, 10am–1pm, Bourne, Bubble Elf
  • Friday Dec 17, 10am–1pm, Grantham, Reindeer Stilt Walker
  • Monday Dec 20, 10am–1pm, Stamford, Stilt Walking Balloon Modelling Elf
  • Tuesday Dec 21, 10am–1pm, Stamford, Reindeer Stilt Walker
  • Wednesday Dec 22, 10am–1pm, Stamford, Stilt Walking Bubble Elf
  • Wednesday Dec 22, 10am–1pm, Deeping, Festive walkabout entertainer
  • Friday Dec 24, 10am–1pm, Grantham, Bubble Elf
  • Friday Dec 24, 10am–1pm, Stamford, Circus Elf

The Welcome Back Fund is providing councils across England a share of £56m from the European Regional Development Fund to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic.

This funding builds on the £50 million Reopening High Street Safely Fund allocated to councils in 2020 and forms part of the wider support government is providing to communities and businesses.

This funding can be used to run publicity campaigns and hold activities in the town centre that will boost footfall and encourage people back into the town centre safely and thereby supporting local businesses.

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