The retail sector is vitally important for the Greater Lincolnshire economy: around 19% of our employees work in retail and the high street is a key route to market for many of our other sectors, especially food and farming.

But the high street is under threat as out-of-town shopping centres and the Internet provide alternatives for consumers. In response to the challenges faced by retailers the Greater Lincolnshire LEP is developing its plans and considering the role that the retail sector can play in helping deliver growth across Greater Lincolnshire.

The LEP’s retail sub-group has been looking at the issue and has come up with some early findings and recommendations:

specialist niche clusters, such as antiques in Horncastle, crafts in Alford and food in Louth, can help to strengthen a market town’s retail offer car parking and pricing policies are crucial to maintaining footfall more research needs to be undertaken, and existing research consolidated, on how market towns in Greater Lincolnshire are performing other key issues for the retail sector include planning and business rates Business Improvement Districts can contribute by developing a positive culture of events and activities