This has been another very positive year for Lincoln.
We kick-started 2018 with the completion of our brand-new bus station, which was the final piece of the £30 million Transport Hub.
The old bus station has now become a faded memory as we drive past the new, iconic building that stands with pride in the centre of Lincoln. This new building sees more than 1,000 arrivals and departures each weekday, connecting Lincoln with the rest of the county and beyond. In less than a year it has already become a major asset to the city.
However, it wasn’t just the bus station which transformed the city this year. Our £4.1 million improvements at Boultham Park were grand enough for a community-focused Royal Wedding celebration to be held at the park in May to mark its opening. Elsewhere in the city, Birchwood Leisure Centre’s fantastic £1.5 million revamp has helped revolutionise exercise in Lincoln, with a new Immersive Spin Studio, climbing walls and gym facility.
At the beginning of August we got the ball rolling on Lincoln Community Lottery which has generated much-needed income for good causes that are close to the hearts of our residents. Together, more than £14,000 has been raised in less than five months – an excellent effort by all concerned.
Earlier this month, we saw thousands of people make their way to Lincoln for four days of festive fun at Lincoln Christmas Market, and what a showstopper it was! Following the disappointment of last year’s early closure, it filled me with joy to see the market return to Lincoln with such life, vibrancy and sparkle. It was an amazing event, and was enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the UK, Europe and the globe. Thursday and Sunday especially saw similar turnout figures to those in the record year of 2016.
The city council has been recognised nationally for a number of prestigious awards recently. Our good fortune started at the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation Awards, where we were overjoyed to receive the award for ‘Excellence in Partnership Working’.
Our Building Control team received award nominations at the Local Authority Building Control Awards – ‘Best Educational Building’ (with BAM Construction) for the University of Lincoln’s Isaac Newton Building and ‘Non-residential Construction Professional of the Year’ for the university’s Sarah Swift Building. This has helped raise the profile of Lincoln on the national stage and, to top it off, we have also recently learned that we have been shortlisted four times in the national Local Government Chronicle Awards for 2019 – once in the ‘Entrepreneurial Council’ category, two of our staff are on the shortlist of Rising Stars, and Wellbeing Lincs – a partnership between all the district councils and the county council – is in the final of the public/public partnership category.
As I look back on 2018 it makes me incredibly proud to be the Chief Executive of an organisation playing such a significant role part in delivering Lincoln’s ambitious future.
Let’s move into 2019 with a spring in our step and get ready for ensuring we continue to deliver together.