April 26, 2022 3.30 pm This story is over 19 months old

Calls for “disappointing” and “untidy” South Holland Centre improvements

Critical report lays down gauntlet for new business plan

A Spalding venue could be a “community hub” for the town but councillors have hit out at its poor appearance, disappointing first impressions and poor, untidy working conditions in a new report.

South Holland District Council will hear a report from the South Holland Centre Task and Finish Group on Wednesday, May 4, which lays out a number of criticisms of the building and makes a series of suggestions to increase its use.

They include the creation of a three-year business plan, a review of ticket prices and hire costs, improved marketing and enhancing the building’s maintenance.

“Despite the impressive nature of the building, members of the task group feel that its image appears under stated,” said the report.

Suggestions include using bolder colours and “uplifting the front elevation” with better signage alongside national and county flags.

“Due to its position the task group believe the building has a greater role to play helping in revitalising the town centre,” said the documents.

“The position and presence call out for it to be a ‘Hub’ not only for its historic use but also as a focus for residents and visitors alike, stating ‘The South Holland Centre is here'”.

Councillors were unimpressed with the general state of the venue. | Photo: South Holland Centre Facebook Page

The task and finish group listed a number of areas of greatest concern, including the poor appearance of the main stairs, the general appearance of the feature window (which they noted was often hidden due to the stage being in place), and the room being a “blank canvas which results in somewhat disappointing first impressions”.

Further criticisms covered the state of ceiling tiles, changing rooms and offices.

The group found financial management information to be “difficult to read and understand” and said there was a lack of promotion with social media and the website described as “poor”.

“Given sufficient drive, enthusiasm, commercial expertise and good management the SHC has the opportunity to be a greater asset to the authority and the district at the same time requiring less ratepayer support,” the councillors said.

The report asks the Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel to consider its recommendations and passing them on to cabinet for a further decision.