Jamie Waller

Local Democracy Reporter

Jamie Waller is a Local Democracy Reporter covering the North and North East Lincolnshire.

By Local Democracy Reporter

More than 600 people in North East Lincolnshire are thought to have out-of-control gambling habits that are affecting their lives.

The latest study has highlighted how many people have been sucked into online gambling or bookmakers, with young people increasingly drawn into it.

‘Problem gamblers’ are defined as people who are hurt personally and financially by their compulsive gambling and may lose control.

There are estimated to be 642 in the borough, according to a report prepared for North East Lincolnshire Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel.

Another 1,000 people have less severe problems as a result of their gambling.

Online gambling on sports events or casino slots has become the most popular form of betting in North East Lincolnshire, making up 40 per cent of all activity.

The number of physical betting shops in the area has fallen by a quarter in the last five years.

However, fixed-odds betting machines – sometimes known as the “crack cocaine of gambling” – still make up a big chunk of all activity.

Around 300 young people in North East Lincolnshire are thought to be at risk from developing gambling problems.

The number is rising nationally, particularly as video games blur the line between gaming and gambling through random ‘loot boxes’.

25 betting shops in North East Lincolnshire have gambling licences, along with 14 adult gaming centres, four family entertainment centres and one bingo parlour.

The council report says: “There is evidence of a reduction in the presence of physical high street betting shops within North East Lincolnshire, this reflects the national picture and may be the start of further changes in the local market.

“The number of physical bookmakers in North East Lincolnshire has decreased significantly between 2015 and 2020, from 35 to 25 a decrease of 28.5%.

“The density of gambling premises in North East Lincolnshire is greatest in the most deprived wards, suggesting a local link between gambling accessibility and deprivation.”

It adds: “Gambling accessibility to young people is as accessible as it ever has been. For some it has become part of everyday life.”

Support for people struggling with gambling is available through Gamblers Anonymous Grimsby, the We Are With You Young Persons’ Service, BreakEven, among other services.

By Local Democracy Reporter

It has been harder than ever to be a pub landlord over the past two years.

Business was already tough – then they were forced to close for months on end during the Covid lockdowns, and many struggled to get enough staff who weren’t self-isolating after being pinged.

And 2021 saw some owners finally say enough is enough and look at other futures.

Once-popular watering holes could become shops or accommodation, according to planning applications submitted to North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils over the past year.

Nearly all blame Covid and the problems with the pub trade as reasons why they will never return to their past glories.

Here are some of the northern Lincolnshire pubs which are set to disappear forever:

The Albion

The Albion, Grimsby

One of Grimsby’s most popular pubs in its heyday could finally be demolished after being ruined by vandals.

The Albion on Cleethorpe Road has become burnt-out and needle infested, and images from inside show its sorry state, which has lost all historical merit according a planning application.

The filthy bar room has been stripped, and a table is shown covered with needles, condoms and the odd beer mat.

The application which gives a peek inside the derelict building says: “Due to vandalism and arson, there is little if any detail of architectural or historical merit remaining.”

Extensive fire damage has left some of the walls and ceiling blackened – the building is so damaged it would require “considerable difficulty and expense” to save any historical features.

Owner Surrinder Mehat of Bradford-based Metro C21 Stores would like to replace it with a community store.

The Red Lion

A struggling North Lincolnshire pub has become unviable after the lockdown added to woes from years of poor business.

The Red Lion in Broughton is now seeking to get out of the industry, with a planning application lodged to become a convenience store.

The proposal, which has been submitted by Scawby-based company Durable Systems, says this is a chance for the community to secure a future use for the building.

“A community facility with a future is required for our redundant buildings or very quickly our high streets will become redundant in themselves. This subsequently leads to dereliction and rising crime rates,” the application says.

No decision has been made on the plans yet.


New plans have been announced for the nightclub venue once known as Secrets and Musika.

The first-floor venue on Victoria Street hosted a cabaret bar which was popular with the LGBT community, and later became known for its retro nights under the Musika name, but there is little chance of it reopening.

Instead, DMC Architecture Limited has asked for permission to build a second storey extension and create a total of 13 flats.

The plan says: “Due to the economic downturn and lack of demand for the premises, it is no longer viable to sustain the upper floors of the premises, and therefore, a change of use to residential units is being sought to preserve and maintain the building’s future.”

The ground floor business would remained unchanged.

The Dog and Rat

There has been a pub on the site in Broughton since the 1800s, with the current Dog and Rat being constructed in 1957.

It closed in January 2018 as the traditional pub trade entered a “severe decline”.

The operators of the pub say the Covid pandemic “renders this industry in even greater peril” and it will likely never reopen.

With no interest in taking it over, an application has been submitted to convert it into a house which would improve its run-down appearance.

The plans are currently being reviewed by North Lincolnshire Council.

By Local Democracy Reporter

A village’s only pub will open again nearly ten years after it last served locals.

The Bay Horse in Garthorpe, near Scunthorpe, is to be brought back into use and divided into a takeaway, a shop and three flats as well as a pub.

A shortage of parking spaces caused a delay as councillors went to see the pub for themselves, but it has now been given the  go-ahead.

Ward councillor John Briggs said the decision was a tough choice for the village, who wanted it to open but feared potential parking ‘tension’.

“I am very supportive of the pub reopening, particularly when we more often deal with them closing,” he said.

“However, I have my concerns about parking. If there are four parking spaces and four flats, something doesn’t add up.

“If there is a busy pub and a thriving takeaway, where will customers park? They will have to park on the street or block residents’ driveways, creating tension.

“It’s simply not enough.

“There’s no demand for flats, which are less in keeping with the character of the village.”

The two separate applications which were brought by RJE Planning & Development would see the large pub condensed to a smaller size.

The Bay Horse closed in 2012 after the landlady left with no replacement.

Councillor Julie Reed said: “I support a rural business coming back online, but the application has to be appropriate for it.

“The village doesn’t have the greatest access, and this could compound the parking problems.

“Additionally, we have already seen in this area where a developer gets permission to create new properties but the pub remains closed.”

Members of the planning committee were told they couldn’t legally make the pub reopening a condition of passing approval.

The developer had previously told the committee reopening the pub alone wouldn’t be financially viable, and the flats were needed in order for the project to go ahead.

Councillor Mick Grant said the pub was currently in an “horrendous state” and “we need to do something about it”.

Council officers assured the committee that the additional traffic shouldn’t cause a problem.

The committee was willing to overlook residents’ concerns in order to see the pub reopen, and both applications passed unanimously.

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