Why we should all be positive about Horncastle

Kate Donald at her shop in Horncastle
Kate Donald at her shop in Horncastle

A Horncastle business woman has hit back at ‘an air of negativity’ hanging over the town and said: “It is alive - and kicking!”

Kate Donald opened Magpies in the Bull Ring six months ago and says business is ‘awesome’.

She says more people should talk about the many positive things happening in Horncastle, instead of dragging the town down.

Mrs Donald, who formerly managed the Sir Joseph Banks Centre, stressed a number of businesses had opened and were flourishing.

Her message follows a difficult last month for town centre traders with two mainstream banks announcing they were pulling out of Horncastle.

In addition, two long-serving business owners warned of tough times and urged shoppers to ‘use us or lose us’

Mrs Donald, who sells ladies fashions and gifts, said: “There is an air of negativity about Horncastle and it is doing no-one any good.

“There are a lot of positive things happening and that’s what we should be promoting.

“We are very lucky to live and work here.

“A lot of my customers are visitors. They say they love Horncastle and I agree with that.

“Some very established businesses are for sale but that is because some owners are retiring - not because they are all struggling.

“We’ve a cafe across the road from me where people are queueing for tables.

“There are queues at the bakery. People stop and take photos of the thatched pub.

“Yes, it is challenging running your own business.

“It’s not easy, otherwise we’d probably all do it.

“But it’s about moving with the times and how you respond to those challenges. That’s what is exciting.”

Mrs Donald accepted the closure of the two banks was not ‘great news’ but was inevitable with more people turning to the internet.

She said: “We have a lot of independent businesses in Horncastle and that is one of the biggest attractions.

“We’ve a florist, a greengrocer - some brilliant coffee shops but what do we hear - the place is dying.

“It’s not. It’s very much alive and kicking.

Mrs Donald went on to say a recent reduction in the threshold for business rates was another boost for small businesses.

She added: “The reduction means I have been able to give more hours to my part-time assistant. Business is booming.”