Woodhall Spa

Jubilee Park in Woodhall Spa is calling on support from the government, as well as encouraging the public to come along this summer, as running costs look set to soar out of control.

The rising cost of living has affected communities across the country, and it would seem that even companies and landmarks are feeling the squeeze too.

It is estimated by Jubilee Park that their running costs for utilities at the pool and park could soar from £50,000 a year to £160,000 a year – an increase of more than 200%, as per current variable rates for the likes of gas and electricity.

It comes at a difficult time for Jubilee Park, having recently had to splash out £70,000 on two new boilers to heat the open air swimming pool – as the current boilers are more than 30 years old and needed replacing.

Jubilee Park Woodhall Spa. | Photo: Jubilee Park Woodhall Spa website

The purchasing of the new boilers has been planned for some time, and money has been set aside to cover the costs by trustees, though other projects and routine maintenance have had to be delayed or cancelled as a result.

Operations director Joe Stanhope told The Lincolnite: “As a charity that doesn’t currently receive any public funding towards running costs we are looking very carefully at how we can reduce the utility costs and increase footfall.

“Making people aware that our pools are lovely and warm whatever the weather and encouraging people to use us more frequently are two of the main things we want to do this year.

“This tied in with new boilers and looking at renewable energy are all high on the agenda, although with significant outlay needed to be put into place.

“It’s very difficult to comment on the finances moving forwards as we just don’t know what impact these will have yet or in fact how much the utilities will be.”

Jubilee Park is now calling on government support for the industry, as it is revealed leisure income is classed as exempt from VAT, which means VAT will not be charged for the customers, but must still be paid by the company.

Joe added: “We would like the government to help leisure charities like ours. There are a number of ways they could do this in our opinion.

“Grants for renewable energy or alternative energy specifically aimed at leisure centres and swimming pools. Also looking at why leisure income such as swimming or fitness income is classed as exempt from VAT rather than zero rated.

“Being exempt means we don’t charge VAT on our services, but we have to pay VAT on our costs. If we were zero rated we still wouldn’t charge VAT on our services and could get credited back for the VAT we pay on our costs.”

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.

Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival will go ahead this summer after a survey on feelings about the event, given the conflict in Ukraine.

Initial plans to potentially cancel the popular event, which has not gone ahead since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic, resulted in “unacceptable” abuse to organisers on social media.

It is something organisers of multiple events similar to the Woodhall Spa one have had to contend with. The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway cancelled its 1940s wartime event last month due to the invasion in Eastern Europe.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Woodhall Spa 1940s Committee has now decided that this year’s event will go ahead on July 9 and 10, 2022, as planned.

The free-to-attend festival has a wide variety of 40s ‘Home Front’ themed event which take place at numerous venues across the village throughout the weekend.

Although the event itself is free enter, there are charges for Park & Ride and several of the concerts are ticket only – see more information about the festival here.

Join in the fun when the 1940s come back around.

The committee said: “After thoroughly examining the festival in light of the current conflict in the Ukraine, our committee is confident to press on with planning and delivering this summer’s event.

“We are also committed to using the festival to raise and donate funds to support Ukrainian refugees in our local area.

“After two years away due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to bringing this vastly popular event back to our village to mark our 10-year anniversary and celebrate the resilience of people on the Homefront in the 1940s. See you in Woodhall Spa in July!”

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