Agenda and minutes

Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 14th June, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Comments from Members of the Public

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    To receive comments or views from members of the public at the Committee’s discretion.


    There were none.


Apologies for absence

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    Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Nikki Manterfield, Judy Smith and Jill Thomas.


    Councillor Hilary Westropp acted as a substitute for Councillor Jill Thomas.


    Councillor Helen Crawford acted as a substitute for Councillor Judy Smith.


    Councillor Gloria Johnson acted as a substitute for Councillor Nikki Manterfield.



Disclosure of Interests

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    Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.


    There were none.


Minutes from the meeting held on 5 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

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    It was proposed, seconded, and AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2022 be confirmed as a correct record.




Updates from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 100 KB

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    To consider actions agreed at the meeting held on 5 April 2022.


    The Chairman noted that an update on Grantham Museum would be brought to the September 2022.


    It was agreed to allow Councillor Phil Dilks to speak in relation to item 7 on the agenda, Performance of LeisureSK Ltd.


    ACTION: An update on the Welcome back fund in relation to Bourne Light Night including a breakdown of how the money was spent.




Corporate Plan Key Performance Year End Update pdf icon PDF 201 KB

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    This year-end update report outlines South Kesteven District Councils performance against the Corporate Plan Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the year of 2021/22.


    Additional documents:


    The Organisational Development and Change Manager presented the report that outlined the Council’s key performance indicators for 2021/22.


    The corporate plan was approved by Full Council on 1 October 2020, the Committee agreed the actions and indicators on 17 November 2020.


    It was highlighted that three actions were rated green and two were rated amber.


    Clarification was sought on the two red actions relating to the visitor economy in relation to attractions and spends. The Council’s target for spend and actual spend was almost double. The target for attractions and the achievement of attractions was substantially less.


    A query was raised on the ongoing cultural strategy review and when the Committee would visit and communicate with the venues to work together as part of the review.


    The Head of Economic Development confirmed the projected target of £103m of money was spent by visitors coming into the District. The actual achieved of visitors coming into the District was £197m prior to the covid pandemic. The data was calculated using STEAM data (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) which was always two years behind.


    STEAM data was a nationally recognised benchmark for visitor economy spend for all authorities.


    ACTION: For recent STEAM data to be brought to the next Committee meeting in relation to the last 18 months.


    One Member noted that Stamford’s figures may start to decrease due to works taking place in Red Lion Square.  


    It was queried as to what works the Council would be undertaking to ensure Grantham and Bourne markets were more sustainable.


    It was highlighted the number of newly engaged visitor economy attractions were not being quantified on how many attractions the Council were dealing with. It was suggested the Council could accurately quantify to form part of the engagement policy by logging interactions with attractions.


    During the lockdown period, business breakfasts had taken place via Zoom to discuss the visitor economy. It was suggested the business breakfasts could be reinstated to open opportunities for businesses to network with each other, and with Members.


    The suggestion was made of a ‘What’s on’ guide published annually and delivered locally, which would require a visitor economy team to communicate with all organisers and build working relationships.


    A query was raised on whether the Council had a yearly visitors guide for the District. It was noted that advertising would need to be balanced and the distribution of advertisement would need to be explored. 


    The Director of Growth and Culture confirmed that meetings need to be live broadcasted on Youtube and therefore it would be impractical to hold them elsewhere within the community.


    The strategic direction from the Committee was requested regarding engaging with the community. The Council were working on an Economic Development Strategy for the District and where previous provisions could be reinstated where possible.


    The ‘What’s on’ guide was not currently being produced by the Council, however, a firm called ‘Nimble’ produce a printed guide. The Council had concern over the amount of printing produced by this and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Performance of LeisureSK Ltd pdf icon PDF 244 KB

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    To provide an update to the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the performance of LeisureSK Ltd against the leisure management contract objectives.


    Additional documents:


    The Deputy Leader of the Council presented the report that outlined details of the performance of LeisureSK Ltd:


    ·       Investing in the health of the district by improving leisure provision was a key priority within the Council’s corporate plan and performance of Leisure SK Ltd therefore, remains a key focus.

    ·       A staff recruitment campaign was launched in September 2021, to ensure appropriate numbers of trained and experienced staff to manage the leisure centres and run activities in line with customer demand following the lifting of the pandemic restrictions.

    ·       There had been challenges within recruitment and retention of staff across the leisure industry.

    ·       Customer numbers had been steadily increasing following extensive marketing and promotional campaigns.

    ·       There had been a high demand for swim school and pool water activities.

    ·       Large events returned in late 2021 and the Meres leisure centre had a successful program of shows between autumn and spring; with almost 3500 people enjoying a return to live events.

    ·       Other large events returning to the Meres are the David Ross Educational Trust summer cup and Inspire plus mini commonwealth games.

    ·       Meres leisure centre was still being used by the NHS as a vaccination centre and continued to support the vaccine booster rollout within Lincolnshire.

    ·       The Council’s Leisure Officer’s continued to meet with both site teams and customers to ensure the facilities meet the needs of all.


    One Member raised concerns over the closure of Deepings leisure, which was temporary closed in July 2021 on health and safety grounds caused by failures of the Council to provide maintenance in the past.


    The report stated that repair work could not take place on Deepings Leisure Centre until the lease had been agreed. An update was requested on the lease and whether it had been signed.


    Furthermore, the report also stated that many former users of Deepings leisure centre were being accommodated for at Bourne and Stamford leisure centres. A query was raised on how many former users were and were not utilising the two centres because of the closure of the Deepings leisure centre.


    It was questioned that numbers for early morning swimming coaching for young children had decreased from 20 to 3 or 4, since parents would face a 20-mile round trip to travel to Bourne or Stamford.


    The current expected re-opening date for Deepings Leisure Centre was requested.


    It was further queried as to whether the Council had yet provided protective tarpaulin over the roof to prevent further damage at Deepings Leisure Centre.


    The Deputy Leader of the Council highlighted that discussions around the lease were ongoing and all Members would be notified once the lease was complete.


    The Assistant Director of Growth and Culture confirmed the anticipated reopening date for the refurbished and remodelled Deepings Leisure Centre would be January 2025. 


    The tarpaulin on the roof had not been fitted due to surveyor reports outlining that even a laying of snow on the roof could cause the roof to collapse, therefore, another structure was unable to be fitted.


    Figures around the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Sport and Physical Activity Strategy pdf icon PDF 236 KB

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    To provide an update to Culture and Visitor Economy and Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the progress and delivery of the Sport and Physical Activity Strategy.


    Additional documents:


    The Deputy Leader of the Council presented the report that provided an update on the sports and physical activity strategy, which was adopted by Cabinet in December 2021.


    To underpin this priority, the Council produced the strategy for the District to outline key target areas and the desire to work with partners to provide opportunities for residents and visitors to live healthy, active lifestyles.


    The importance of the Council positively impacting the health and wellbeing of the people in the District and reducing any barriers to participation was noted. This meant providing ways to integrate activities into lifestyles of people in the District.


    The report provided an overview of work undertaken and detailed the progress of the action plan to date. Furthermore, it provided an overview of the latest active lives data available, reporting levels of activity for the District and asked Members of the Committee to consider the future actions in the delivery of the strategy. 


    A Member highlighted that 45.5% of children were not meeting the ideal criteria of exercise, which had decreased by 10% from the previous year.


    It was emphasised the Council should address the needs of young people in the area to ensure they had access to facilities.


    Members supported the Slow Ways initiative and ways it could improve physical and mental health, as well as being economically friendly. It was proposed a formal motion be taken to Full Council to support Slow Ways.


    It was clarified the Active Lives survey data was a snapshot, where a selected group of people were randomly targeted and as a result was a small sample of the population.


    ACTION: That a list of Council-owned open spaces be provided to establish how the Sport and Physical Activity Strategy can be adopted into parks within the wider District to replicate the achievements at Wyndham Park in Grantham.


    One Member noted the Council had only two Green Flag Status parks in the District and that other parks would be suitable. Promoting Green Flag Status parks would promote leisure activities and encourage people to utilise the open spaces.  




    1. Consider the results of latest Active Lives data available for South Kesteven.

    2. Provide feedback on the activities undertaken and recommendations for future delivery.

    3. Review the Slow Ways national network of walking routes and consider if and how the Council could support this initiative.


Queen's Baton Relay pdf icon PDF 273 KB

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    To provide an update to the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Grantham’s role in the Queen’s Baton Relay on 11 July 2022.


    Additional documents:


    The Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy presented the report that provided details of the Queen’s Baton Relay which would be visiting Grantham on 11 July 2022. The journey brings together and celebrates communities across the commonwealth during the build-up to the Commonwealth Games.


    Outlined in the report were three stories from baton bearers nominated for making a difference in the community.


    The Queen’s Baton Relay was due to start and finish at Wyndham Park Visitor Centre. The route had been designed to celebrate Grantham’s heritage, green flag accreditation and promoting sustainable and active travel.


    A Member suggested the inclusion of other communities in the District to be recognised in a formalised way.


    Members celebrated the opportunity and congratulated all officers involved. 




    1. Make any suggested improvements to the planned arrangements for the Queen’s Baton Relay in Grantham on 11 July 2022.


Welcome Back Fund - Lessons Learnt pdf icon PDF 328 KB

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    This report summarises the works, interventions and activities that have taken place using the Welcome Back Fund (WBF), and includes lessons learned and recommendations for improvement.


    Additional documents:


    The Director for Growth and Culture presented the report that highlighted the allocation of up to £252,909 by Government in November 2021, from the European Regional Development Funds – Welcome Back Fund.


    The one-off amount of money was specifically to help local businesses and the visitor economy to return after the COVID-19 pandemic. It was designed to help Council’s attract people back to town centres and high streets.


    The funding had paid for several activities in the District. The Council had worked in partnership with town and parish councils, town promoters and business groups.


    The funding had focused on four town centre areas: Bourne, Grantham, the Deepings and Stamford.


    Following an internally facilitated workshop, the details of lessons learnt were set out in the report, there were 28 areas for improvement and 14 recommendations for improvement.


    The outturn figure achieved within the immovable end of March 2022 cut-off date stood at 81% of the total allocation, which was also being reviewed by an external validator. 


    Limiting factors were highlighted.


    It was suggested that communication and delegation between parish and town councils would have been beneficial in utilising the funding.


    It was confirmed the parameter of the funding was restricted to prevent the passing of the money onto anyone else.


    Members thanked Officer’s for the report and their hard work to making the events possible.


    A Member highlighted that Bourne Town Council worked with South Kesteven District Council to run ‘Bourne In Lights’, which had been a phenomenal success. The Member thanked all involved on behalf of Bourne Town Council.


    The membership of the Welcome Back Fund Working Group was queried and whether any Committee Members were a part of the group.


    It was confirmed the cross council working group was made up of Officers from the Growth and Culture Directorate. 


    It was suggested the consultation with Members of the Committee may have reduced the amount of lessons learnt.


    The Chairman highlighted that previous events had ramifications for sponsors and communications.


    A query was raised on whether the photography campaign photographs would be utilised on visitor economy banners or a visitor guide.


    The Head of Economic Development confirmed the photography would be utilised in other areas.


    It was further noted the Town Centre App was procured and would be live on the app store by the end of March 2022. This was now in the process of being developed further.


    In the event of unexpected funding being allocated in the future, it was suggested that a District-wide ‘wish-list’ be created in preparation.




    1. Notes the provisional incurred expenditure in respect of Welcome Back Fund and to consider whether there are further lessons learned in relation to the operation of the Welcome Back Fund.


Work Programme 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 241 KB

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    To consider the Committee’s Work Programme for 2022-23.


    Members requested the following items be added to the Work Programme for the next meeting in September 2022:


    ·       Update on Markets - Andrew Cotton (Director of Housing and Property)

    ·       Sport and Physical Activity Strategy – 6 monthly updates

    ·       Festivals and Events across the District




Any other business which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances decides is urgent

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    The Chairman suggested an informal meeting, working party approach prior to the Committee meeting to discuss the way in which the Council delivers festivals.


    The Chairman further suggested an afternoon meeting in September to allow time for a 45 minute informal workshop on how the Council delivers festivals across the District.


    A Member suggested the workshop included discussions around ‘Slow Ways’ and the Cultural Strategy review.


    The Chairman recommended that Members promote ‘Slow Ways’ following the meeting and during the summer.


    The Vice-Chairman requested a full report be brought to the Committee in September on an events trailer as it may be beneficial for departments.


    The Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy highlighted the promotion trailer was no longer owned by South Kesteven District Council and therefore, was not suitable for the Work Programme. 


    The Chairman requested that the pre-meeting includes all Committee Members.


    ACTION: For Ward Members to discuss, exchange and promote posters of events taking place in their areas at Committee meetings.


    A Member noted that Bourne Town Council had a webpage for events.


    Members congratulated all people of the District on the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.


    It was noted that Bourne managed seven major events over four days and thanks was given to the Bourne community for their response and excitement over the celebration.


    A Member provided the Committee with Oakham Pride posters and requested Members to distribute them within their communities.


    The Council’s Communications Team were putting together a special edition of SK Today and were requesting photographs of the Jubilee celebrations and events that had taken place throughout the District.


    The Chairman informed the Committee the ‘Beacon lighting’ in the Deepings was a very successful event.


Close of meeting

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    The Chairman closed the meeting at 11:51.