Joint venture company to help regenerate Lincolnshire town

Dave Hale & Cllr Jeff Summers

West Lindsey District Council and Dransfield Properties are set to create a joint venture company which will help regenerate Gainsborough town centre.

The news comes just weeks after Dransfield Properties submitted a planning application for a 56 bedroom hotel on the site of the former Sun Inn in the town.

The firm is looking to bring Travelodge and Ponti Italian Kitchen restaurant to Gainsborough and create an open courtyard and outside dining area.

The project will see at least four shops refurbished and let in Gainsborough town centre over the next 12-18 months.

This is the first time the local authority has entered into an agreement of this kind but it is confident it has chosen the right partner.

Cllr Jeff Summers, leader of West Lindsey District Council, said: “Dransfield Properties has already invested heavily in Gainsborough with the hugely successful Marshall’s Yard and they are now investing further with plans for a hotel chain and restaurant.

“We want to support investors and to do that we need to start to strengthen the appeal of the town ourselves. That is why I am delighted that we have agreed to this interesting and innovative approach of creating a Joint Venture Company. Together with council and private investment and our combined experience, I believe we can make real visual improvements to the regeneration of Gainsborough”.

The Joint Venture agreement will focus on Market Street, Market Place, Church Street and North Street, creating a gateway to the town.

The Council’s new economic and commercial director Eve Fawcett Moralee is leading the way with the plans.

She said: “The council is committed to developing the right partnerships to deliver a future for the town by making it attractive and sustainable for existing businesses and attract new investors. Our role in these projects is key but without partnership working we would not be able to achieve this alone.

“The Joint Venture Company will enable us to invest in shop units which will enhance the quality of the streetscape and attract people to let them.

“But we have a whole host of other projects running alongside this as part of our Invest Gainsborough work, which will complement this”.

Mark Dransfield, managing director of Dransfield Properties, said: “Our company prides itself on the strong partnerships we form in the towns in which we work. We are delighted therefore to be partnering WLDC on the regeneration of this part of the town center and to share the vision for this site.

“This is an important part of Gainsborough town centre and working together I’m confident we can deliver an attractive and sustainable development which will create new jobs and attract more companies to invest in the town”.