Agenda and minutes

Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 18th January, 2018 7.00 pm

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

No. Item


Councillor Terl Bryant

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    A minutes’ silence was held for Councillor Terl Bryant who recently passed away.



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    The Committee to be notified of any substitute members.


    The Committee was notified of the following substitutions for this meeting only: Councillor Ray Wootten for Councillor Katherine Brown, Councillor Barry Dobson for Councillor Judy Smith and Councillor Bob Adams for Councillor Sarah Stokes.


    The Committee was also notified that Councillor Judy Smith had resigned from the Committee.



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    Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Judy Smith and Councillor Sarah Stokes.


Disclosure of Interests

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


    No interests were disclosed for this meeting.


Action Notes from the meeting held on 16 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

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    The action notes from the meeting held on 16 November 2017 were agreed as a correct record and their content noted.


Updates from the previous meeting

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    ·     Update on the planning for a Visitor Economy Workshop


    The Chairman referred to the previous meeting held on 16 November 2017 and to the Leader’s request for a letter of support for the funding of the commissioning of an expert resource together with additional internal resources, to help develop the Cultural Strategy and provide the necessary strategic guidance to the Council’s cultural activities.  She read the statement she had prepared in response to this request for Members to consider.


    “Unfortunately, with only four Members in attendance at the previous meeting, including myself as Chairman, we didn’t take a vote on the Leaders’ request.  However, we did agree in general with the Leaders’ statement that economic growth was not only about building houses and infrastructure but, it was also about our culture and heritage, which adds to the economy.


    Culture had always been a discretionary subject for funding but, if the Cabinet and Leader were confident that there was a justifiable need and, the budget could support an increase in funding, without any adverse effect to frontline service spending, then the proof would be in the outcomes, which I am sure this Committee would look forward to and support.”


    In response to a Member’s query on the amount of funding, the Committee was informed that the budget proposals included potential expenditure of £50K.


    A Member highlighted the attendance at the evening meetings which had been arranged for the convenience of Members who were working and noted regular absences of some of the Members of the Committee. The Chairman commented that a couple of Members had come to the meeting straight from work and that she would be discussing this issue with the Leader.




    The Committee supported the Chairman’s Statement in response to the Leader’s request at the previous meeting for the Committee to support funding for the commissioning of an expert resource that would provide the necessary strategic guidance to the Council’s cultural activities, provided there would be no adverse effect to frontline service spending and that expenditure would be monitored.


A Verbal Update on Christmas Events

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    The Service Manager for Venues and Town Centre Management provided the Committee with an update on the Christmas events in Grantham, Bourne and Stamford.


    Grantham Market and Lights switch on:  The Grantham Market and light switch on had been well attended with around 2000 people on the green for the actual light switch on.  There had been 28 traders situated in the market with 11 craft stalls in the Guildhall ballroom.  Feedback from the traders had shown that the event had been successful.  Around 5000 people had attended the event overall.  The new lights had been well received and as they were now a permanent fixture, would be available for other events such as Gravity Fields Light Festival later in the year.


    Members congratulated the Service Manager for Venues and Town Centre Management for a successful event.


    Discussion took place on whether future markets would have different themes and whether a shop window competition could be held as this had proved successful in other towns.  Members were informed that the Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy was working on the programmes for future years.


    Whether local guest celebrities could be invited to switch the lights on.  It was noted that the attendance of members from the Pantomime had helped publicise the Christmas Pantomime and encouraged ticket sales. Their attendance had also enhanced the atmosphere for the light switch on event. Local and or national celebrities would require a substantial fee. 


    Whether the Council had born the whole cost of the event.  It was noted that the costs had been born by the Council.  A 7 year programme had been developed which took into account such things as future costs.  The lights were now permanently in place which would reduce the cost of future events in the years to come.


    Suggestions for future Christmas events were:


    ·       Shop window competitions

    ·       Themed Markets


    Councillor Judy Stevens arrived at 7.15pm.


    Wyndham Park: Reference was made to the disappointing decision that had to be made in respect of the Wyndham Park event.  30 traders had signed up to attend the event.  A number of conversations had taken place regarding whether the event should go ahead.  On the day a small number of traders had arrived but no entertainment had been able to attend.  Due to this along with public safety issues it had been decided to cancel the event.  Lincolnshire County Council had also cancelled the Lincoln Market on the Sunday due to hazardous conditions. A number of visitors had arrived but the conditions were not suitable for the event to go ahead. 


    Bourne Market and lights switch on:  The Bourne event had proved to be extremely successful.  Bourne Town Council in conjunction with Bourne Events had worked closely together on arranging the event. South Kesteven District Council had a stall at the Market


    Action Point:


    That Members are provided with figures regarding the cost of the installation of the Christmas lights in Grantham together with the potential savings  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Vision for the Visitor Economy pdf icon PDF 159 KB

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    A presentation from Andrew Norman, Head of Visitor Economy InvestSK.


    The Head of Visitor Economy attended the meeting to provide the Committee with an overview of the vision for the Visitor Economy. Members were also given an overview of his experience and background in visitor economy and provided with examples of the types of projects he had been involved with.


    One of the main mantra’s to be considered when developing a strategy was to “treat the visitor as you would like to be treated when you were a visitor” with the aim to exceed the visitor’s expectation. In addition, it was important to focus on what there was in the District.


    Members were reminded of some of the offers within the District which were  not definitive but an initial impression.




            Areas to cycle, walk, golf, fish and ride

            Market Towns

            Heritage attractions

            Town walks

            Arts, culture & music

            Events – Gravity Fields, Georgian Festival, Belton HT, RAF100, Bourne Literary Festival, Stamford in Bloom & much more

            Pubs, restaurant's & café’s – high quality locally produced food and drink

            First class accommodation

            Retail – shopping


    Further initial impressions had been to do with branding and marketing such as a lack of a distinct brand for potential visitors to identify with for the District, or the identification of the District as the “Vales” on the visitlincolnshire website. This had highlighted the need for redefining and focussing on the qualities of South Kesteven.  Once this had been achieved it was felt the branding for the District would evolve.


    The aim was to target specific market sectors, creating them as an attractive destination that would draw in passing visitors, local visitors from within a 50 mile radius, visiting family and friends.  There was also an opportunity to encourage visits from RAF Veterans and families, coach and group visitors and short niche breaks around market and travel.  If the branding and advertising of the key offers within the District was achieved, then international visitors would be generated through the Visit Britain and Visit England Campaigns.


    Some of the ways of achieving this would be through consultation with stakeholders, databases, stakeholder committees, working with neighbouring DMO’s (Destination Management Organisations) and working with Visit England and Visit Britain. A number of other areas were suggested as potential ways of raising the profile and marketing of the District such as: the use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social media.  Better use and distribution of leaflets and posters in SK outlets and further afield was also important, along with greater signage along the A1 for directional use rather than marketing. More utilisation of the local and regional press and TV and media as well as nationally and internationally would also benefit the District.  The presence on the ground of a promotion trailer at local and regional events was another option. A higher quality profile on websites such as Visitgrantham, Visitgstamford, Visitbourne and Visitdeepings was in the process of being developed along with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


RAF 100 Commemoration Programme pdf icon PDF 103 KB

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    Report VE001 of the Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy


    Additional documents:


    The Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy referred to report VE001 which provided the Committee with further details of the preparations for the forthcoming celebrations marking the hundredth year since the formation of the Royal Air Force, the importance of aviation heritage in the district and a budget forecast for delivery of the programme.


    The RAF was creating an ‘RAF100’ Commemoration Programme that would celebrate this anniversary. Lincolnshire would be playing an active role as the historic ‘Bomber County’ and home of the modern air force.


    It was proposed that South Kesteven District Council developed a programme of related events as befits a district which would compliment the RAF Celebrations and have a strong aviation heritage theme. This programme would also have longer-term benefits beyond 2018 in bringing aviation heritage to life within the District.


    Contained within the report were details of potential partners, some of which the Council already worked with but there were also new contacts that could potentially help develop the Council’s visitor and heritage aspirations.


    Other potential benefits highlighted were in respect of accommodation providers and the opportunities available for them to be able to promote themselves as the ‘gateway to Lincolnshire’ and benefit from local and county-wide RAF100 events.


    Included within the report was a list of the RAF 100 National Calendar of events.  This would enable South Kesteven to identify areas and dates where the Council’s own local events might be included.


    The formal opening of the event would take place in Lincoln on Sunday 12 April 2018 and the Committee was provided with a list of RAF events already planned for the forthcoming celebrations. 


    The Council had created a brochure called ‘Heritage of Flight’ which included World War One (WW1), World War Two (WW11) and Cold War aviation heritage sites within the District and highlighted a link to the web site (   Copies of the brochure were provided for Members.


    The Council was also working with Stoke Rochford Hall on ways of attracting group travel operators to use the hotel as a base from which visits to county sites such as the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln could be undertaken and easily accessed.


    An exhibition at the NEC in March 2018 at the British Travel and Trade Show was also being undertaken in partnership with other Lincolnshire organisations.  The joint exhibition in 2017 had an aviation theme on its ‘Welcome to Lincolnshire’ stand. Partners were Visit Lincoln, International Bomber Command Centre, the Battle of Britain Memorial Fund and the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa. The project resulted in a national travel award for innovation.  There was continued interest in areas where there was an aviation heritage within the District so it was envisaged that the planned events would prove popular to a wider audience.


    During their discussions Members raised the following areas.


    ·     Whether a scale model of an aeroplane or even a wing of an aeroplane, such as a Lancaster could be placed on roundabouts;

    ·     When a definitive list of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 63 KB

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    Members considered the Work Programme and discussed the following points.


    Ideas towards increasing attendance at the Markets especially the Grantham Market: 


    Themed markets; Farmers markets; Food Festivals; Beer and Bangers; Continental themed markets; providing more colourful stalls; Markets geared more to teenagers.


    Other issues discussed were: the advertising of the markets through the press, media and social media, on buses etc; improving the quality and content of market stalls, improvement and refurbishment of the stalls themselves; weather was an issue and the feasibility of indoor markets during the winter period; the impact of the shopping centres planned for both the south and north of Grantham.


    The ethos of markets and the recognition that the towns within the District were all identified as being market towns so markets were an integral part of the offer for each of the towns. An officer from Peterborough was providing guidance on how to improve the profile of markets and discussions were being undertaken with Buckminster.  The views and input from market traders were also being sought but sometimes it was not always easy gauging what interest there was in any proposals.


    The Committee was informed that Road Closure Notices had been requested for markets later in the year to enable decisions to be made nearer the time for specific venues.


    The Committee noted the content of the Work Programme.


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

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    The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting and the Head of Visitor Economy for his presentation.  She reminded the Committee of the Pancake Race event that was going to take place at St Wulfram’s Church on Tuesday, 13 February 2018. 


Close of Meeting

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    The meeting closed at 9.00pm.