Tuesday, 21 February 2017



A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE firm is believed to be frontrunner to take over the Humberston Fitties  chalet park from North East Lincolnshire Council.

Chalet owners understand that  Wellingborough-based Tingdene Ltd is the probable preferred bidder.

The firm, which enjoys an excellent reputation, already has similar parks in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Cheshire, Cleveland, Essex, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Wiltshire.

Its Lincolnshire operations include sites at Dogdyke, near Coningsby, and Mablethorpe on the coast.

Significantly, it also has a track record of revitalising marinas, having invested significantly in locations in Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Worcestershire.

The potential of Humberston Yacht Club, which is part of the Fitties estate, may be what particularly attracted it to this site.

The preferred bidder is due to make a presentation to North East Lincolnshire Council at a meeting this evening.

It would be a great opportunity for chalet owners - and the wider public - to learn more.

But NELC officers are insisting that proceedings must be secret.



PEAKS Parkway remains the preferred site for a new home for Grimsby Town FC.

This is the advice that will be given to a special meeting of   North East Lincolnshire Council's cabinet on February 28.

On a planning points basis, it scored less well than two other locations - one on dockside and the other at Europarc - but these proved to be unavailable.

The full list of sites considered (in order of suitability) is below


1 Dockside

2 Europarc     
3 Peaks Parkway    
4 Morrisons Dual By-Pass   
5 Great Coates                                             

6 King George V Athletic Stadium           

7 Pleasure Island                                         

8 Millenium Park, Macaulay Lane             

9 Ladysmith Road                                        

10 B & Q on A16                                          

11 Western Tech School                              

12 Bradley Road                                        

13 Fish Docks                                             

14 Blundell Park                                          

15 Freeman Street                                     

16 Tioxide Site                                             

17 Grimsby Golf Centre

The cabinet meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at Grimsby Town Hall at 3.30pm on February 28.

The report to members states:

"The development of a Community Stadium in North East Lincolnshire will contribute to both building a stronger economy and stronger communities.

 "A Community Stadium will include the creation of new facilities for community use together with enabling development. 

"A legacy of community benefit will be created, along with public health benefits and  construction employment and training opportunities. 

"The development of a Community Stadium will contribute to a stronger economy by improving skills and employability, offering local employment, contributing to sustainable built and natural environments and supporting businesses and innovation within the Borough. 

"This stronger economy will benefit the residents, businesses and visitors to the borough. 

"The development of a Community Stadium will contribute to stronger communities by promoting independence through employment, health, sport and participation opportunities - in other words by better enabling our citizens to be more active and to lead healthier lives. 

"The development of a Community Stadium will also contribute to stronger communities by encouraging sustainable housing developments in line with the Council’s submitted draft Local Plan together with all the benefits that will bring. 

"The development of a Community Stadium, together with enabling development including housing across the borough, contributes to a lasting legacy of community benefit within North East Lincolnshire. "

The report continues: "The do-nothing option would not enable the project to advance and the potential benefits highlighted would not be able to be gained. 

"The positive partnership working built up between the Council, GTFC, the Mariners Trust and the prospective developers, EXTREME, would be jeopardised. 

"The delivery of both a Community Stadium and enabling development expected to comprise of a mixture of housing developments would be foregone."

 It adds: "There are potential positive and negative reputational implications for the Council resulting from this decision. 

The Council’s communications service will be engaged throughout to ensure that all statutory consultation requirements are met and that all parties’ communications remain as aligned as possible and that all sectors of the community and stakeholders are reached to the greatest extent possible."

More information at:

Monday, 20 February 2017


THE FUTURE of  Humberston Fitties will again come under the spotlight his week.

The holiday village is due to be offloaded by North East Lincolnshire Council - either to a community interest company consisting of chalet owners or to one of four private sector bidders.

It is understood the council's preferred bidder will be invited to make a presentation to a NELC scrutiny panel meeting to be held at Grimsby Town Hall tomorrow at 6.30pm

Most of the meeting will probably be held in secret, with press and public barred from attendance.

Due to attend are:

Councillor G Rogers (Labour)
Councillor M Brown (Labour)
Councillor T Mickleburgh (Labour)
Councillor T Walker (Labour)
Councillor D Hasthorpe  (Conservative)
Councillor R Shepherd(Conservative)
Councillor C McGilligan -Fell (Liberal Democrat)

Councillor N Pettigrew (Con)

Councillor K Wilson (Labour)
Councillor D Bolton (Labour)
Councillor K Wheatley (Labour)
Councillor P Jackson  (Conservative)
Councillor S Shreeve  (Conservative)
Councillor J Cairns (UKIP)
Councillor K Rudd (Liberal Democrat)

Thursday, 16 February 2017


A DECISION on the future of Grimsby Ice Rink is set to be made at a full meeting of North East Lincolnshire Council next Thursday - with the likelihood that its closure is now imminent.

The recommendation from portfolio holder for health and wellbeing Cllr Jane Hyldon-King and director of health and wellbeing Stephen Pintus is that: The Ice Rink at Grimsby Leisure Centre be closed as soon as reasonably practicable. 

A report to councillors reads as  below

The council has been through an extensive process of engagement over a considerable length of time in an attempt to secure a commercially viable ice rink operation in the   borough. 

This has included investing in, and continuing to operate a “temporary” ice rink for two years in order to allow further time for a commercial option to be achieved. (The two- year period ended in August 2016).

The Ice Rink is operated at a loss and the council is currently absorbing costs in respect of the hire of the ice rink chillers and maintenance and repair which it cannot afford indefinitely. 

The council needs to achieve further efficiencies within the health and wellbeing portfolio and this decision allows the council to support as cost efficient sport and leisure service.

Grimsby Leisure Centre has been operational since 1975. The building is largely original, having only one major change during its life. The second sports hall was removed to enable the development of Grimsby Auditorium,opening in 1995. 

Since this date, only operational/internal modifications have been made. 

In 2008/09 the Council commissioned a strategic review of all its sports and leisure assets.

The report followed the Sport England guidance at that time and provided a programme of replacement/refurbishment and removal, based on a needs assessment and future demographic profiling.

One of the recommendations within the review concluded that an ice rink was best served via a private sector/commercial development instead of public sector subsidy.

In 2013 the Council responded to the changes in refrigeration materials. From December 2014, the use of R22 gas became illegal. This substance was the main refrigerant of the Grimsby leisure centre ice rink. 

The council undertook not to replace the ice rink, but it did commit to hiring/leasing a temporary ice pad and refrigeration unit for a two-year period, the aim being to give the commercial  market a further opportunity to consider this area for investment.

The report recommending the installation of a temporary ice pad also noted the limited life span of the GLC and the associated maintenance costs for the fabric of the building.

The two-year contractual period for the ice pad expired in August 2016.

The contract is being extended on a short term basis, with the costs being met by the council to allow time to consider the views and proposals from key stakeholders, primarily the Grimsby Ice Hockey Club. 

Various models and commercial options have been proposed and reviewed over recent years and to date no option has come forward to replace the ice-rink at no cost or subsidy to the council. 

Since 2009 dialogue has taken place with a number of commercial ice rink operators including a proposed joint venture scheme being put forward in September 2012. 

As a result of the subsequent due diligence work, the council determined that it would not be in its interests to enter into that arrangement and work on this proposal ceased

The council subsequently entered into further dialogue with other potential ice rink developers, two of which, when previously contacted in 2010/11 were not in a position to develop an ice rink in the area without a capital contribution from the council. 

Both organisations expressed an interest in developing a facility within the borough and present ed different models for development and operation. 

However, these options were based on the council providing land or buildings at market value to facilitate the development, which  the council has been unable to facilitate.

Since the installation of the temporary pad there have been no proposal’s received by the council 

Following representations from the Grimsby Ice Hockey Club in July 2016,seeking clarification of the future of Ice rink, meetings were held to consider alternatives. 

As Lincs Inspire Ltd are the exclusive contracted provider of the facility and solely responsible for revenue and pricing, the Ice Hockey Club were advised to work in conjunction with Lincs Inspire to generate proposals to maintain the Ice Rink as a viable going concern.

Lincs Inspire have supported the Ice Hockey Club in this endeavour as best they can.

There has been extensive email correspondence between the council and Grimsby Ice Hockey Club. 

The Grimsby Ice Hockey Club proposals are wide-ranging in nature and make suggestions counter the drop-off in the number of people ice skating. In general the proposals require the council to invest in anticipation that subsequent usage increases sufficiently to recover that investment.

The proposal from Grimsby Ice Hockey Club is progressive in its approach. However it was predicated on the following (summarised) changes:

* NELC capital investment into the facility infrastructure in excess of£115k (including tractor, new floor,Perspex protection, barriers, air-handling replacement, toilets refurbishment, new skates).

*Various changes to Lincs Inspire operational activity and further NELC investment into the site, some of which affected all Grimsby Leisure Centre, totalling an increased income of £25 - £27K and an unspecified further capital and revenue costs for NELC (including but not limited to the reinstatement of kitchen, cafĂ© , car park charges) and operational costs/losses for Lincs Inspire (including but limited to new marketingproposal, ice disco sessions and modification of skate and swim membership).

* Potential isolation of the ice rink facility within the centre itself, including the necessary changes to site access and security in order to allow independent operation. 

Many of the proposals from Grimsby Ice Hockey Club were considered at a scrutiny panel meeting in July 2016 

 These primarily focused on the following themes:
1. Income Generation
2. Operational Management
3. Facility and Access modifications
4. Membership/Pricing/Promotional 

All 42 members of the council are due to attend Thursday's meeting which is open to the public