The owner of a new business in Horncastle has hit back at fears that market towns face an increasingly grim future and insisted: “There’s a lot to be positive about!”
Kathy Creek has just opened Barking Dogs Antiques and Interiors in South Street, and is adamant Horncastle’s impressive array of independently owned shops can play a key role in shaping a vibrant town,
Her comments come amid growing concerns about the recent closure of some Horncastle-based businesses, including two High Street bank branches - NatWest and the HSBC.
Ms Creek said: “I know about the banks, but they are closing all over the country - not just in Horncastle.
“It is a difficult time for a lot of businesses but come on, this is a beautiful town with so much going for it.
“There’s a fantastic range of independent shops and we need to shout about that and everything else that is positive about Horncastle.
“It’s not all gloom and doom.
“Horncastle can have a successful future. That’s why I came here. That’s why I’ve invested a considerable amount of time and money into setting up my business here.”
Ms Creek, who lives between Louth and Grimsby, hopes to ‘tap into’ Horncastle’s reputation as the ‘antiques capital’ of the Wolds.
It is the first shop she has owned and she already has plans to expand, offering a range of courses in furniture restoration.
She added: “I don’t want to be just another antique shop. I’m still building up stock and getting the message out that I am here.
“However, I’m very excited. You only have to look at the other new business that have opened in South Street.
“Then there’s places like Myers, all the wonderful restaurants and coffee shops, the art gallery, bookshops, the independent clothes shops...I could go on.
“We don’t need the big High Street chains.”
Ms Creek revealed feedback from customers suggested the town ‘could promote itself better’ - not just from the point of view of retail outlets but also the many historic attractions. along with parks and riverside walks.
She added: “The Lincoln to Skegness road is one of the busiest routes in the county but how many people know what Horncastle can offer?”
Her views were backed by customers Nichola Atherton and Jean Wallis who were visiting Horncastle for the day from the Spalding aresa.
Ms Atherton said: “We were able to find out some things before we can but there’s not a lot of information out there, especially when you compare Horncastle to other towns.
“We relied on a neighbour telling us a few details. If he hadn’t, we probably wouldn’t have come.”
There is speculation about the future ownership of the former banks in the High Street but sources suggest interest from major national chains is ‘wide of the mark.’