Millions of pounds may have been allocated for the revitalisation of Crowle’s Market Place – but it will mean nothing if visitors aren’t able to spend a penny.
That was the message that came through loud and clear when Crowle resident and North Lincolnshire Councillor John Briggs visited the town council to talk about the development.
Councillors stressed that they’d wanted to see public toilets available, and several promises had been made, none of which had turned into reality.
Coun Don Cross said he was going to make it his business to keep asking until the facility was created, and Coun Paul McCartan, the town mayor, backed him up.
He said: “We have flagged this up repeatedly, but it is just not happening.
“We are always ‘going to have it’, but it never seems to happen.”
Coun Briggs urged councillors to look at the bigger picture, which was one of transformation of Crowle.
He said: “If people will stay and spend money in Axholme North we have a real opportunity to transform businesses for the future.
“We have turned a huge corner, and this is now a major opportunity for all of us. Let’s put North Axholme on the map.
“We have to show that we are open for business here.”
He said the arrival of the Co-op would be a catalyst for development, and he believed there would be more people from the private sector keen to come in when the development sites were ready.
“There has already been interest in the Bistro site, though nothing has yet been finalised,” he added, inviting councillors to consider how pleasant it would have been to sit outside a café in the Market Place during the recent good weather.
The next stages in development will be approval to demolish Number 6, and develop plans for numbers 45 and 47. He said English Heritage were currently considering those.
He added that it was important to commend the work that had been done so far, which was considerable, and necessary for plans to move forward.
Councillors believed it would be possible to re-energise the Market Place, but hoped there would be less heel-dragging than there had been to date.
Coun Mel Bailey added a note of optimism: “People said we wouldn’t be able to get the market going, but we did,” he said.
Crowle Town Councillor Mel Bailey is to be the council’s representative at the East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire Local Councils Association (ERNLLCA).