MR BIG looks set to retire after three years with directors planning to leave to make way for a new look Town Partnership.
Chair Sara Scott has dismissed reports the group has ‘folded’ but admits its fate will be decided at a meeting next month.
“We have funds remaining and are continuing to work with other stakeholders to define the next chapter in the town’s transformation and will be sharing the options available with our members at the EGM,” she told the Rasen Mail.
The meeting is set for February 25. It comes as government support for the body finishes in April.
“Our volunteers are coming to the end of our useful life,” she said.
This includes herself. But other members of MR BIG, plus new ones, could take it forward.
“That’s the reason why we have been looking at creating the Town Partnership,” Ms Scott explained.
At last week’s town meeting to discuss the markets, Ms Scott told those present that MR BIG has had meetings with market trading organisations, the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and others to come up with ways to take the town forward. This has led to suggestions the town council appoints some kind of town or markets manager.
“We have looked at a number of different models, how this business may be managed and run,” she said.
“There’s no point starting a project that will go bust after 6 months.
“Council could fund it indefinitely but you have to get your money from the ratepayer. We would like to engage you in thoughts and processes for the town’s future,” she told the meeting.
Though much has yet to be settled, Ms Scott told the Rasen Mail this week:
“I will go back to my day job. I have plenty of stuff I want to do. Three years of volunteering to a significant cause is enough for me.”
The businesswoman and marketing expert hopes to develop offices at the back of Grandad’s Shed with fellow MR BIG director Darren Lince.
“I’m putting my money where my mouth is restoring a derelict building,” she added.
Darren Lince confirmed:”MR Big is preparing an exit plan but it’s down to the members.”
The owner of several Rasen businesses says the organisation has benefitted the town greatly.
“Everything is going in the right direction. It’s where we need to be,” he said.
“We have had three years and done most of what we set out to do. We had the Portas Pilot and other government money through the High Street Innovation Fund. From where it was three years ago, we have had a dramatic increase in the occupancy of the high street. The problem isn’t fixed. Online is going is an increasing challenge but the high street of Market Rasen is in a much better position than three years ago,” Darren added.