Local Democracy Weekly: Another step forward for the changing face of Lincoln’s tourism dreams

The announcement of a new hotel planned for Lincoln City Centre this week could be seen as another sign of the changing times and the move from retail to leisure on the High Street.

The move could see the House of Fraser Store, fronting Mint Street and High Street, turned into a 150-room hotel, with several smaller shops facing the main thoroughfare.

The response from those who saw the plans was mixed – with some praising the improved look, while others lamented the loss of a historic facade apparently hidden under the current cladding

The effect of online shopping, the closure of major brands and changing desires has been well documented, and Lincoln’s council chiefs and economic bosses have already outlined how the city’s shopping scene will look “very different” in the next decade.

Earlier this year Kate Ellis, director of major developments at the City of Lincoln Council, said there were a number of changes that needed to be made in a move away from the typical 9-5 day.

She said it “was not just about shops and retail, but that it was about leisure and creating a destination for people to come whether that’s residents, visitors or businesses.”

The shift towards providing an “experience” for visitors and tourists is also visible within the city and in the plans which have been announced.

More than £70 million is being invested in the Cornhill regeneration project being carried out by Lincolnshire Co-op.

So far restaurants and businesses such as the Cosy Club and 200 Degrees are doing well, and a new gym was the latest addition.

As well as shops, the development includes a new cinema, and earlier this year the council announced a water feature would be included.

Works continue to take place to improve the experience at Lincoln Castle and Cathedral.

The new transport hub has been hailed as a success, offering easier access to the city, while new trains direct from Lincoln to London will be hoped to improve tourism going both ways.

Many would argue more still needs to be done to attract people to the area – cheaper parking, better bus services, more variety and more independents.

The city is changing, some may not like it, but if it is to survive into the future it needs to and providing people with more choice for places to stay to enjoy all the area has to offer is just one more step towards that. — DANIEL JAINES


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