Agenda and minutes

Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 28th February, 2023 10.00 am

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

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


Apologies for absence

    • Share this item

    Additional documents:


    There were no apologies for absence received.


    There was no representative on the Committee from Alliance SK.


Disclosure of Interests

    • Share this item

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

    Additional documents:


    There were none.


Public Speaking

    • Share this item

    The Council welcomes engagement from members of the public. To speak at this meeting please register no later than 24 hours prior to the date of the meeting via


    Additional documents:


    There were no public speakers.


Minutes from the meeting held on 6 December 2022 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

    • Share this item

    Additional documents:


    A Member asked for confirmation that Markets were on the Work Programme for scrutiny within a future meeting.


    The Director for Growth and Culture confirmed that Markets had been added as a future item.


    A Member asked what fee was required by Red Quadrant and whether funds were readily available.


    The Assistant Director of Culture and Leisure confirmed that a fee of £16,000 was allocated from an agreed budget.


    The contract for the draft Visitor Economy Strategy was expected to be tendered by April 2023.


    It was proposed, seconded, and AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2022 were a correct and accurate record.




Updates from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 56 KB

    • Share this item

    To consider actions agreed at the meeting held on 6 December 2022.

    Additional documents:


    The action sheet agreed at the 6 December 2022 meeting was noted.


    The Director of Growth and Culture confirmed that a draft invitation to tender for the Visitor Economy Strategy had been issued to the Committee’s Chairman and Vice Chairman for their review and comment, before being shared electronically with this Committee where feedback by Members would be welcomed.



Announcements or updates from the Leader of the Council, Cabinet Members or the Head of Paid Service

    • Share this item

    Additional documents:


    There were no announcements by the Leader.  However, it was acknowledged the second Board meeting of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund (UKSPF and REPF) in the afternoon.  The Leader of the Council agreed the work was receiving positive results.




Verbal presentation from the Chief Executive of Destination Lincolnshire

    • Share this item

    Additional documents:


    The Chief Executive of Destination Lincolnshire gave a presentation.


    Members were informed the Government expected to route funding for tourism through Local Visitor Economy Partnerships (LVEPs).  The Government would operate a formal accreditation process and Destination Lincolnshire were able to facilitate the private and public sector to achieve this.


    Destination Lincolnshire recommended that a governance structure could be established and every participating local authority could co-fund a Destination Management Plan as part of the process to achieving LVEP accreditation.


    It became apparent during the pandemic the destination management structure in England was fragmented, fragile and not fully effective.  The tourism sector recovery depended on having the right structures and partnerships in place.


    The review into Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) recommended a network of destination professionals would work with Visit England to deliver local and national economy growth priorities.


    The accredited network would be:


    ·            A top tier of Destination Development Partnerships (DDPs)

    ·                              A second tier of Local Visitor Economy Partnerships

    ·                              A third tier of all other tourism partnerships


    The LVEP started in 2023 and DDPs were to be developed in 2024/2025.


    The Government agreed that DMOs had an important role to play in recovery and Levelling Up and were positive about the tiering system.


    Destination Lincolnshire aimed to support Lincolnshire Local Authorities to achieve LVEP status by May 2023 and co-fund a new Destination Management Plan for Greater Lincolnshire. A LVEP application was to be submitted no later than September 2023.


    During discussion, Members raised the following points:


    ·            Disappointment accreditation had to be applied for.

    ·            Lincolnshire was a wonderful county that deserved more recognition.

    ·            The decision to abandon Lincoln Christmas Market was unfortunate and would have a negative impact on the County.



    The Chief Executive of Destination Lincolnshire informed Members their organisation, like similar companies was previously funded by Development Agencies.  It was frustrating that evidence submitted at a recent review did not result in automatic funding.  Funds were also received from businesses who paid subscription fees.  Ultimately, Lincolnshire proving it’s worth would be a worthwhile exercise.  Greater Lincolnshire was under-marketed and as a large county, efforts to sell it were sometimes fragmented (although at a strategic level there was some positive, collaborative work underway).  The county also needed to acknowledge its considerable strengths.



Update on Heritage Action Zone shop front improvements in Grantham pdf icon PDF 228 KB

    • Share this item

    The purpose of this report is to provide a progress update on the Grantham High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme and summary information on the Academy of Urbanism ‘Great Town’ Award 2022 and the Arts Fund ‘Reimagine’ Grant programme.


    Additional documents:


     The report was presented by the Leader of the Council.


    The Grantham High Street Heritage Action Zone programme was in its third year of delivery and was to run until 31 March 2024.  It was split into two main areas of delivery as follows:


    • a capital grants programme

    • a revenue funding stream which facilitates staffing, engagement activity, resource building, interpretation projects and cultural activity.


    Properties had to be located on High Street, Westgate, the Market Place or Watergate (with a priority on Westgate and Marketplace) and must have been built prior to 1939.  Applicants were required to have the legal ability to accept the grant funding, typically the property owner or their written permission.    There were two projects under delivery through the ‘Key Building’ scheme and six currently being delivered through the ‘Shopfront Regeneration Scheme’.


    The single most significant capital project within the High Street Heritage Action Zone programme was the regeneration of Westgate Hall, a grade II listed former corn exchange.  Built in 1852, last used as a night club, vacant for five years and currently in very poor condition.  On 12 July 2022, Cabinet approved a grant award of up to £300,000 for the regeneration of Westgate Hall with a view to bringing the building back into use as a restaurant and the potential to create approximately 30 jobs.  The funding had made it viable for the property owner to carry out works to the building by addressing the conservation deficit on the property – that was the cost required to complete works more than what the property would be worth when the works were completed. 


    The impact of rapidly increasing prices resulted in the need to scale down the scope of the schedule of works to ensure the project remained deliverable.  The grant funded elements of work would focus on structural repairs to the building, the reinstatement of historically appropriate glazing, works to the roof and masonry repairs.


    The timeline for delivery also provided challenges to the project.  The Heritage Action Zone Programme Manager would continue to work closely with the appointed project architect - and the contractors - to ensure the programme ran to time and coordinated with Historic England as necessary.  Encouragingly, works to the property had now commenced, with the erection of scaffolding having taken place on 30 January 2023.


    71 High Street had experienced delays in delivery due to both material and contractor availability.  This resulted in the programme significantly over-running its original completion date of March 2022.  The Programme Manager was working closely with the property owners and the appointed project architect to monitor the contractors progress to ensure the programme of works was completed within this financial year.


    There were currently six shopfront regeneration grant schemes underway, and interest was received with regards to a further four properties.  As with the larger key buildings programme, the significant increase in cost of projects resulted in the need to negotiate a change to the original grant programme with Historic England.  Inflation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


Arts Service Transitional Funding (Verbal Update)

    • Share this item

    Additional documents:


    The Assistant Director of Culture and Leisure gave an update on the Arts Service Transitional Funding.


    The Officer confirmed the Arts Council National Portfolio funding was due to end in March 2023.  Following a meeting with representatives from the Arts Council it was confirmed their ethos on funding had changed and a fresh application had not been successful. 


    The Council had been encouraged to submit a funding application for transition funding to support the future of the Arts Programme and identify opportunities to attract funding in the future.  If the bid for transition funding was successful the equivalent of six months of funding would be received.


    For future opportunities South Kesteven District Council had the option of proceeding alone or continuing to work as part of a consortium. 


    A Member asked if the Council shared a good collaborative relationship with neighbouring local authorities.


    The Assistant Director of Culture and Leisure confirmed there were advantages to a consortium as this approach was well supported by the Arts Council, however there were complications if the Council continued to be the accountable body for funding and the other authorities did not deliver the grant conditions.



Sport and Physical Activity Strategy Action Plan six-monthly update pdf icon PDF 244 KB

    • Share this item

    To provide an update on the progress and delivery of the Sport and Physical Activity Strategy.


    Additional documents:


    The Deputy Leader of the Council presented the report.


    A review of the Council’s website and social media activity had been undertaken with a view to continuing to support a variety of stakeholders and organisations with their events and to provide residents with physical activity opportunities across South Kesteven.  This included a link to the Slow Ways initiative which was discussed at the previous Committee meeting in June 2022. 


    Physical Activity initiatives for Council employees were implemented in January 2023, starting with the #TeamSK step challenge in which 120 participants enrolled.  A range of other activities also commenced such as the Wednesday Walk, which averages eight walkers per week and weekly ‘Let’s Get Physical’ information packs which were distributed to all staff and included diet and wellbeing advice.  A week of free fitness classes at Bourne and Grantham took place during January 2023 where 11 Council employees trialled fitness classes to kickstart a new habit.  Positive feedback was obtained about the wellbeing initiatives and a total of 288 views were recorded on the digital information packs. 


    Officers continued to develop strong collaboration with our partner organisations, stakeholders and communities, without them achieving the Council’s corporate ambition of Healthy and Strong Communities would not have been possible.  Officers from the Council’s Leisure Team had actively been attending:

    • Monthly leisure leads meetings with Active Lincolnshire

    • Monthly UKActive webinars

    • Workshops with Sport England and the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (CLOA)

    • The Ageing and Physical Activity network meetings, led by The University of Lincoln to stay up to date with the latest trends and remain up to date with the regional and national picture.


    In November 2022, Officer’s attended the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Sports and Leisure Seminar which looked at a range of leisure specific challenges including decarbonisation, ageing facilities and the rise in local authority trading companies managing leisure facilities.  The ‘Activity Finder’ developed by Active Lincolnshire, now boasted an impressive 260 activities or clubs on the website, providing residents in South Kesteven with an online tool to find activities in their local area.  In collaboration with Active Lincolnshire and the Council’s Housing Team, work began to identify opportunities for physical activity and wellbeing for residents living in sheltered housing and council houses within South Kesteven.  As part of a workshop, emphasis was placed on gaining a better understanding of the lives of the residents, the places they live and the connection points for residents within various council services. 


    Council Officers had been working in partnership with ‘We are Undefeatable’, which was a campaign consisting of fifteen leading health and social care charities, funded by the National Lottery in conjunction with Sport England. The aim is to support people living with a range of long-term health conditions to move more in a way that works for them.  One You Lincolnshire was the county’s free health and wellbeing programme designed to help residents to become healthier with a variety of free activities.  Support was provided  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Performance of LeisureSK Ltd pdf icon PDF 242 KB

    • Share this item

    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:


    LeisureSK Ltd had continued to face operational challenges over recent months especially relating to the increase in costs of materials from suppliers and the significant rise in energy costs.  This all aligned with the national picture and challenges facing other leisure providers nationally.  The recruitment of suitably qualified staff also continued to be challenging. However, the Board of Directors appointed a new Contract Manager who joined the company in April 2022. 


    Since joining the company, the Contract Manager, with the support of the Board, had reviewed the company staffing structure to try and mitigate the cost increases without impacting upon the levels of service delivery and customer experience.  A comprehensive job evaluation of all roles within the company was finalised in April 2022 with job roles being scored and aligned to a pay grading scale which provided consistency across the company and ensured that pay was competitive with other leisure providers.


    The Board of Directors have been keen to ensure the employees of LeisureSK Ltd are being invested in and developed.  As part of this, Managers have been enrolled onto a Management Development Course which has been developed and delivered by The HR Branch over a period of six months.  In addition to this, LeisureSK Ltd were working with a national apprenticeship provider, Lifetime Training.


    LeisureSK Ltd had upskilled two senior Managers onto the Royal Lifesaving Society’s (RLSS) National Pool Supervisor Qualification (NPSQ) tutor programme.  This training was planned to be delivered to Duty Manager’s and Senior Leisure Assistant’s during 2023.  LeisureSK Ltd continued to develop their programme of community and outreach activities promoting and increasing their health and wellbeing offering.


    Other initiatives introduced within the centres by LeisureSK Ltd included ‘Exercise on Prescription’ in partnership with One You Lincolnshire across all facilities.  This was a 12-week structured physical activity programme following referral by a health care professional aimed at those doing less than 150 mins of physical activity a week.


    Partnerships continued to be developed between the Council, LeisureSK Ltd and organisations within the county such as One You Lincolnshire, Active Lincolnshire and Inspire+, local GP surgeries and social prescribers and Shine Lincolnshire.


    Following approval at Cabinet in September 2022, Bourne Leisure Centre underwent a £137,000 gym refurbishment programme in November 2022. This included brand new equipment, creation of a dedicated studio space, a separate free weights area, and new gym flooring throughout. This resulted in a small uplift in the monthly membership cost and has contributed to an increase in membership sales within the centre.


    In November 2022, the decision was made at Full Council to permanently close the Deepings Leisure Centre and not to proceed with the previously agreed refurbishment plans, to hand the asset back to Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) and to also transfer the management of the Linchfield Road Playing Fields back to LCC.


    The Table Tennis Centre (TTC) at Grantham Meres Leisure Centre continued to be used by the National Health Service (NHS) as a COVID-19 mass vaccination centre until they announced its closure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Work Programme 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

    • Share this item

    To consider the Committee’s Work Programme for 2022-2023.

    Additional documents:


    Members noted the Work Programme.


    It was confirmed an update on Markets was to be heard at the next Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting and the Sport and Physical Strategy Action Plan was to be heard every six months.


    A Member requested an update on the Grantham Museum be scheduled for the meeting in June 2023. This was agreed.



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

    • Share this item

    Additional documents:


    There was none.


Close of Meeting

    • Share this item

    Additional documents:


    The Chairman closed the meeting at 11:57.