2020 is a year of milestones for The Lincolnite: it marks a decade in publishing for Stonebow Media, serving local communities and businesses, and of course a new website was in the pipeline too.

Whether we like it or not, this year has forced drastic changes upon most of us — but we’re hoping you’re going to love the changes we’ve made.

They’re not just cosmetic, as there’s been a lot of work under the hood to make the whole reading experience faster and smoother.

Here are the top three things you’ll notice straight away:

The Lincolnite now incorporates Lincolnshire Reporter, its sister site launched in 2016, which adds coverage of the top news from across Greater Lincolnshire. This means you’ll find our full coverage  — from the Humber to the Wash — in one place, here.

You’re now experiencing our new uninterrupted story feed, where you can scroll through our full stories without having to click back and forth for individual stories. We think you’ll love it after giving it a go.

Automatic light or dark mode will give you an easy on the eye reading experience, depending on the settings on your phone, tablet or computer. Basically, if you have dark mode enabled, we’ll happily oblige. There’s also bigger, bolder text and images, because we know the vast majority will read this on a phone.

As you continue reading, you’ll find many other refinements along the way. There are also other parts of the website we are working on, so you’ll be able to spot some more changes in the coming weeks, including the property, jobs and events sections.

The Lincolnite has always been a passion project, an image of how we feel local news should be delivered and presented, and this iteration is our latest vision.

News consumption has changed dramatically in the past decade since we started, and we’ve always managed to stay ahead of the curve.

The latest re-imagination of The Lincolnite brings together our 10-year publishing experience to deliver a smooth experience for both our readers and advertising partners.

With record audiences and growth through our tenth year, thanks to our dedicated team, we are proud to be part of the Greater Lincolnshire community.

As a local company, we enjoy working with fellow local businesses to make our vision possible. Many thanks to TRS Design for development and Jolt for hosting support.

We welcome your feedback on [email protected].

P.S.: You can find out more about advertising opportunities with us on the Stonebow Media website.

P.P.S.: We’re looking for a second Local Democracy Reporter to join us. Email us for details.

The DW Fitness First gym and spa in Lincoln remains open for now as the parent company filed for administration.

The leisure facilities off Tritton Road were open on Monday afternoon but the business is looking for a new buyer.

The DW Fitness First gym in Gainsborough in Marshall’s Yard was not reachable by the time of publication.

They both reopened on July 25 after four months closure due to lockdown. Members were not charged during the forced closure period.

The gym and sports retailer operates 73 gym and 75 stores across the country. All stores will close while administrators try to rescue as many gyms as possible.

Over 1,700 jobs are at risk. The DW Sports website has also been shut down.

There are also 43 Fitness First gyms, part of the same group, which will not be affected. The Lincoln and Gainsborough facilities do not appear to be part of this though.

The coronavirus pandemic was the main cause of the financial troubles at the company, chief executive Martin Long said.

He told the BBC the lockdown closure left them “with a high fixed-cost base and zero income”.

The firm’s income is reportedly around £15 million a month, but that was down to zero overnight, while it still had a £3 million monthly wage bill — though up to 80% could be claimed in furlough.

Lincoln tech company Tended is launching a smart wrist strap to help maintain social distancing for those working in construction, manufacturing, infrastructure and logistics.

The solution incorporates Tended’s current wearable safety wrist strap with an ultra-wideband proximity sensor, which can automatically notify workers if they come within a two metre (or other pre-set) distance of each other.

If staff breach a minimum separation distance, their wearable will vibrate to notify them to move away.

The aim is to accelerate the transition back to safe working across a range of industries as soon as lockdown is eased.

Tended’s distancing solution also provides employers with an overview of any social distance breaches within their organisation and how long employees have been in contact with others.

A useful feature is its ability to trace contact back. If a worker tests positive for COVID-19, employers can see who, if anyone, they have been in contact with and for how long, and send them an alert to self-isolate or get tested themselves.

The solution can track any distance breaches and their duration, with all this information available to the employer via a web app.

For privacy and security the solution can’t be used to track employee whereabouts, the company claims, unless in critical situations, such as the employee having an accident. Also, no personal details are included in distance breach data.

Leo Scott Smith, CEO of Tended (and one of The Lincolnite‘s 2019 30 Under 30), said: “We’re working with large corporations that have had to stop running and send their workers home because they can’t effectively enforce safe distancing measures.

“It costs them millions each day, and they are unable to carry out essential works.

Leo Scott Smith is the CEO of Tended, founded in Lincoln in 2017.

“We’ve implemented ultra-wideband technology because of its incredibly high accuracy and resistance to interference, and we decided to combine it with our wearable to provide a solution that can ensure the safety of employees at work.

“We believe technology will provide the means to get the world moving again, and also keep people safe. We’re looking at fast development and deployment because we know we need to act now.”

If someone in an organisation is diagnosed with COVID-19, they can update it within their app, which will immediately notify their employer and give them a record of anyone they have been in contact with.

Leo founded Tended after a personal experience in Nepal supporting with charity programmes during the 2015 earthquakes.

He witnessed a range of different safety challenges during his work there, leading him to view safety from a different perspective and create a solution to improve safety and potentially save lives.

Arup will provide independent support to companies seeking to trial Tended’s technology.

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