Legendary heavyweight champion boxers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko took to FaceTime to thank a Greater Lincolnshire MP for his work delivering ambulances to Ukraine during the resistance effort against Russia.

Both Wladimir, 46, and Vitali, 50, soared to national icon status in Ukraine as they became heavyweight boxing world champions at the peak of their powers in the 2000s and early 2010s.

Wladimir spent over 4,300 days as heavyweight champion of the world, and was recently inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, while his brother Vitali is also a multiple time champion in the same weight class and a legend of the sport in his own right.

The pair ruled the roost in the ring during their fighting careers, and now they are bringing that determination and spirit to the recent resistance effort in their homeland – following the Russian invasion earlier this year.

Vitali, the current mayor of Kyiv, has been praised as a symbol of resistance alongside president Volodymyr Zelensky, while Wladimir joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces in February 2022 to protect his country from Russian attacks.

The ambulances were built in Goole and are now helping save lives in Ukraine. | Photo: Andrew Percy MP

As part of a solidarity showing to Ukraine, the MP for Brigg & Goole, Andrew Percy, helped set up an Ambulances for Ukraine project – which saw emergency vehicles designed and created in Goole before being shipped off to Ukraine.

These battlefield ambulances have helped save lives that could have been lost in the ongoing conflict, and it has not gone unnoticed in Ukraine.

On Thursday evening, when out doing some gardening at his home, Mr Percy was contacted by Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, along with a UK-based Ukrainian businessman called Victor, who has helped fund the ambulance project.

The Brigg & Goole MP shared a FaceTime conversation with the brothers, who expressed their thanks for the efforts put in by Mr Percy and his constituents in the delivery of these ambulances.

He said: “The Mayor again said how moved he was by the support from the UK and how Goole’s ambulances are helping to save lives at the front. He also assured me he would be reaching out to the factory again to personally say thanks.

“I was a bit ill prepared and a bit muddy and sweaty from gardening but I did my best to say how honoured we are as a community to be building these ambulances and how amazing the whole team at the factory have been. I really hope one day we can welcome Vitali to the town.”

A series of open air theatre productions of classic shows will be put on by a Lincolnshire-based theatre company this summer, with four performances right here in the county.

Chapterhouse Theatre Company has been touring open-air theatres since 2000, making this year the 22nd anniversary tour for the group, and this year they say concentration has gone into productions that possess elements of romance and beauty.

It is for that reason that classic shows Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet have been chosen by Chapterhouse as the productions for their theatre tour this summer.

Two of the greatest love stories ever told will be brought to life out in the open air of Lincolnshire on four occasions this summer, performed by an impressive array of talent.

The group will also be touring Pride & Prejudice, but that will not see any Lincolnshire dates, with the nearest venue being Newark Castle on Saturday, July 23.

The first Lincolnshire show will also be on this date, with Chapterhouse Theatre Company bringing Cinderella to the Gunby Estate Hall and Gardens in Spilsby.

This is followed by a showing of Romeo and Juliet at Elsham Hall in Brigg on Sunday, July 24, then again at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa on Saturday, August 7.

Finally, the company will return to Elsham Hall for a performance of Cinderella on Friday, August 19. Tickets for all these shows are available from the Chapterhouse website, costing £19.80 per adult and £12.10 for children.

By Local Democracy Reporter

Brigg Garden Centre is set to welcome a new cafe and shops thanks to a proposed extension.

Plans have been submitted for a two-storey extension for the popular garden centre at the front of the building.

The ground floor will have 861 square metres of new retail space, while the upper floor will be a cafe, including a balcony with a canopy.

The marquee currently selling garden centre goods in front of the store will be removed.

The car park will also be reconfigured to include a dedicated bus stop for Hornsby’s No 92 service. It currently visits the site three days a week, and this will provide a safe drop-off point.

The extension will bring more employment opportunities to the garden centre, which is already one of Brigg’s biggest employers. It is estimated another 15 full-time and 15 part-time jobs will be created.

Proposed extension and car park changes at Brigg Garden Centre.

The changes will mean there will be a total loss of around 50 car parking spaces.

The plans say the changes are focused on improving the customer experience.

“Like all retail establishments, the garden centre needs to develop to keep up with the ever- changing retail environment and market especially given the recent and ongoing COVID-19 situation. Ultimately, the proposal seeks to maintain and enhance this existing rural business, which is a key service/facility/destination in the area and an important rural employer,” it says,

Designs don’t show how many new retailers are expected to occupy the new shopping space.

The cafe already boasts one restaurant and a coffee shop, as well as a Mountain Warehouse outdoor clothing store, Maidenhead Aquatics, a bridal shop, a florist, Cotton Traders clothing shop, a hot tub shop and a beauty salon.

The application has been submitted by operator British Gardens Centres to West Lindsey District Council.

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