Revitalising the City Square and Market Place, building more council housing and reducing inequality were items high on the agenda at the 2018 Lincoln Growth Conference.
The theme for the event held in the new Constance Stewart Hall building at Bishop Grosseteste University on Friday, March 16 was Proud To Be Lincoln, with attendees reflecting on progress made in the city over the last 18 months, including the new transport hub and work starting on the Lincoln Eastern Bypass.
Speakers at the event also looked forward, with announcements due on a medical school in Lincoln within the next month, the city council investing £3 million in the crematorium, and a grant of £1.7 million for outdoor sports activities.
There was also a chance for the more than 150 people in attendance to be reminded of the ongoing work to redevelop and enhance Lincoln Cathedral, plus the next stages of development in the Cornhill Quarter, which will see Sincil Street connected to the new 1,000 space car park as well as an Everyman boutique cinema, and more restaurants moving in.
Council Chief Executive Angela Andrews said that one of the authority’s key priorities over future years was to improve the City Square and Market Place area, to link in with the Cornhill Quarter project.
She said: “It’s starting to look a bit tired. We probably need to think about what the city needs from its market offer, what the customers want, what stallholders want, and can we as a city council put some investment in to actually deliver all of those things.
“It’s very early stages but we need to finish off that area. If we can get some more vibrancy around City Square, then I think that’s the start of it.”
She added that the council was committed to building 400 new council homes by 2020, pressing ahead with the long-awaited Western Growth Corridor, and regenerating the Sincil Bank area by improving the quality of housing.
Council Leader Councillor Ric Metcalfe said that Lincoln was enjoying “an extraordinary renaissance”.
He said: “We’ve seen some fantastic developments in and around the city – the new transport hub, the new Cornhill Quarter, the developments we see in around the university.
“There is a lot of very good news for Lincoln at the moment and we’re very much a city on the up.
“Inequality remains a challenge because we know one in four children in the city live in poverty so we want to do something about incomes and better distribution of opportunities for training and employment.
“So there are many challenges ahead but I think we’ve a lot to feel confident and good about.”