Patrick White


Patrick is a journalism graduate from Lincoln. He reports on business related matters and in his spare time he enjoys music and film.

Plans have been announced for a £50,000 revamp of Lincoln’s Cornhill. Work on the ‘cobbled’ part of area should last from September 5 to October 14.

The Cornhill is one of the city’s historic public squares and is owned by the City of Lincoln Council, which leases it to Lincoln Big for activities and events.

Matt Corrigan, Lincoln Big chief executive, said: “[The cobbles] were introduced in the 1960s and are not of a local material.

“By repaving in smooth materials to match those nearby, we hope to create a more unified space that is more inviting for people to walk across and better suited to a wider range of events.”

The electrical system in the square will be replaced with “pop up” power supplies in order to better accommodate the city’s civic Christmas tree. The outer two of the four benches will also be moved near the kiosk to back onto the inner two.

“Working closely with the City of Lincoln Council, we have been able to negotiate grants and contributions that have covered the cost of the works and generated the improvement, without directly calling on a contribution from our levy payers’ funds,” Corrigan explained.

The project has been grant-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

City Councillor Neil Murray said: “Repaving the Cornhill is a key part of developing the city centre, making it a more attractive space for public use, much like City Square around the corner.

“It’s great news that we’ve helped to secure external funding for the work, which means it can be completed in preparation for the proposed Lindongate development, with no cost to Lincoln taxpayers.”

Long-term plans

As long-term ideas, plans drawn up by Lincoln-based regeneration consultants Globe are considering removing the kiosk at the front of the square.

“Although this building looks historic, it was actually built in the 1970s,” Corrigan explained. Whilst not unattractive in its own right, it blocks off the square and views of the Corn Exchange building from the High St. It is also not ideally suited for its current uses.”

Ursula Lidbetter, Lincoln BIG chairman and Lincolnshire Co-operative Chief Executive, endorsed the alternative plans for the square:

“We appreciate that the [City] Council will be unlikely to make decision on this quickly in the current financial climate, and that it is sensitive in respect of commercial leases, but that by offering some ideas we can promote a dialogue about alternative ways to use the space – not only in terms of income generation but also in its role as a public space at the heart of the city.”

Equipped with bin bags, paintbrushes and litter-pickers, nearly 100 young people from Lincolnshire are taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS).

Participants are busy revamping tired play facilities, tidying-up public parkland and giving community facilities a new lease of life.

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney caught up with the enthusiastic teens and lent his support when he and his family joined a group for an improvement session in Hartsholme Park, before going on to see a very creative revamp of North Hykeham’s SK8 Park.

Karl said: “It has been really fantastic to see he activities young people are involved in as part of National Citizen service.

“Everyone is having an amazing experience, with all the things they are doing, especially working on the social action projects.

“Apart from teenagers getting the chance to work on a variety of projects, they are learning good lifeskills, how to live and get on with people who are from other parts of Lincolnshire who they have never met before.

“This is part of the growing-up experience which I didn’t get until I was much older.”

Darren Sanby (16), of Lincoln, who goes to the Priory Witham Academy, said: “The NCS programme has definitely been better than I thought. I would do it again. I like it because you get the chance to do things you wouldn’t normally get to do.”

Tony Hillier, North Hykeham Mayor, said: “I think the work done at the SK8 Park is absolutely wonderful. The young people have added an extra dimension to it. They have been very nice and very motivated, we would welcome them back again.”


Young people who have got involved in the four-week Lincolnshire NCS pilot programme, which finishes on September 2, spent the first week meeting each other.

In their second week, the participants learned about first aid and safer driving, attended media workshops, communication seminars and discovered how to put the polish on their CVs and manage their money.

Big picture

The NCS pilot is being managed by the Lincolnshire & Rutland EBP.

Elaine Lilley, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire & Rutland EBP, said: “We are delighted that local MP Karl McCartney, who attended the launch of the NCS pilot in Lincolnshire, has been out to see how the scheme is making a real difference on the ground.

“It is extremely gratifying to hear that, not only are individual communities benefiting, but that the young people on the programme are really enjoying the experience as well.”

NCS is a flagship policy at the heart of the Government’s vision for building a Big Society.

The concept brings together 16 year olds from different backgrounds in a summer programme of challenge, service and learning, enabling them to develop the confidence, skills and attitudes they need to become more engaged with their communities and to become active and responsible citizens.

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