‘Use £1m Lottery cash to improve Boston’s environment’


People want the largest sums of money from Boston’s £1 million Big Local Lottery money to go to the ‘environment’ and ‘community spirit’ of the town, according to the chairman of the steering group.

About 70 people attended the Boston Big Local presentation day at Age UK on Wide Bargate, on Thursday – with half of the visitors being residents and half being non-residents, visitors and workers in the town.

Boston College students also pounded the pavement around town to get more than 100 people to fill in surveys.

Big Local steering group chairman Ralph Pryke said an initial report showed that under ‘broad’ headings respondents felt 32 per cent of the money should go to environment, 32 percent to community spirit, 24 per cent to health and 10 per cent to enterprise.

He said: “The results showed that people like the town because of its history, its open spaces, friendly atmosphere, shops opportunities and family ties and roots.

“We know there’s a desire for more shops, especially regarding clothes shops for children.

“There’s frustration and aggravation caused by traffic, car parking, congestion and roadworks.

“We also know that while many value and appreciate the diversity of cultures in Boston, there’s much more to be done around building an inclusive community.”

Mr Pryke said those who attended approved the vision, approach and four themes of the steering group.

The next step will be to finalise the results and create a plan - with a public meeting of the steering group taking place on October 30, at 6.30pm, at the Black Sluice Lock Cottages.

Mr Pryke said he hopes that if all goes well, the first bit of money will be heading to Boston at the beginning of March next year.

Boston was given the £1 million lottery money in December 2012 by the Big Local Trust.

The money is not in the control of the council but the residents of the town and cannot be spent on statutory obligations – including things like a bypass – however it can be used to enhance them.

For more information visit www.bostonbiglocal.co.uk.