‘Lincoln on the threshold of transformation’ was the theme of the seventh City Centre Masterplan conference on October 31 at Lincoln College.
The masterplan sets out a vision for the future of Lincoln, and delegates included stakeholders from the city’s councils and universities, as well as developers, businesses and community leaders.
The keynote speaker was international branding expert Rita Clifton, who told delegates they “need to be very clear about what we need to achieve together,” as Lincoln is “a city of substance, with a lot of beauties.”
She explained strong brands give cities more returns for less risk in a very competitive market of around 2.6 million small cities across the world.
Kate Ellis, Assistant Director of Planning and Regeneration at the City Council presented the latest on the council’s car parking strategy.
When the topic of a park and ride for Lincoln was brought up, Alan Aistrup, Head of Highways at Lincolnshire County Council, posed a dilemma for the delegates in the room.
He said it would cost around £10 million to build a park and ride system for Lincoln, which would take over 25% of the budget for buses from across the county.
“Are we able to put that amount of money into Lincoln at the expense of the county?” Alan Aistrup asked.
In her presentation, Kate Ellis clarified that park and ride would be a solution for car parking problems uphill, where there is not enough space for more development.
A location for a Lincoln park and ride has yet to be decided.
Downhill Lincoln is still under capacity, except at peak times, she said, but the City Council are looking at building a multi-storey car park on Tentercroft Street, behind the train station.
City of Lincoln Council Leader Ric Metcalfe said: “We’ve got a vision for Lincoln being a great world class small city and we have to consider how we think about ourselves and how the outside world thinks of Lincoln, and I think we have to address those things, as they are all important for Lincoln.”
On the Lincoln park and ride and Alan Aistrup’s question, Ric Metcalfe said “It’s a very appropriate reminder of the constraints on the public purse at the present time because of the current government policy for reducing funding.
“The County Council, just like the City Council, are severely constrained, so a very understandable health warning by the County Council, that it will not be easy. But no one thought it would be; that won’t deflect us from the belief that as far as moving in and out of the city, park and ride is an obvious partial solution. There are all sorts of challenges for everybody, as we acknowledged in this conference.
“It’s possible that we will consider a multi-storey car park for Tentercroft Street. That would be part of a ring idea of having major car parks that people would be able to easily identify and would reduce the current movement that takes place when people drive around looking for parking spaces.
“At the moment, there is overall capacity within the city for most of the time, although there are pressures partly because of our temporary problems with Lucy Tower, but also at certain peak times, there are some strains for supply and demand.”
Dr Rona Mackenzie, Principal of Lincoln University Technical College also spoke at the conference about the vision for the region’s only UTC, based in the city, and how it would fit in the masterplan.
She said: “We are looking at our core businesses of science and engineering, how it would contribute to the next generation of scientists and engineers, as these two areas work across many industries across the region.
“Because we are a regional resource, we are pulling students from across Lincolnshire into the city to train and study and become experts in their field, and then we want to retain them within Lincoln and Lincolnshire, as well as understanding the opportunities across the region so that students’ success contributes to our economic future here.”