Both UKIP and Labour say Market Rasen has been “forgotten” by the government when it comes to economic support.
The unusual agreement came after Chancellor George Osborne visited Lincolnshire and announced £50,000 towards studies to back the case for a food industry ‘Enterprise Zone’ at Hemswell Cliff and the Lincolnshire Showground, as part of a much larger package for the East Midlands.
“It would appear that yet again Market Rasen has been overlooked in the funding,” said UKIP PPC John Saxon.
The businessman says now, after the Portas Pilot, it is time for a ‘skills audit’ of Market Rasen, and the villages surrounding it, to see how best to attract new businesses to the area.
“Decisions and suggestions should involve the residents and traders in Market Rasen and we have to involve already successful business owners in ‘mentoring’ start up and expanding businesses – allowing them to put a little back into the community,” he said.
Mr Saxon also wanted to work with market traders on developing and promoting the market. With savings from contributing to the EU and cutting foreign aid, much more money would be available for economic regeneration.
“If elected, I would certainly ensure a goodly proportion came into West Lindsey.”
Labour rival David Prescott said it seems the government has “forgotten” about Market Rasen.
“It was more than happy to get the publicity around the Portas Pilot. But now the cameras have gone away, they seem to have given up on the town. MR BIG did some great things but we need to support shops and businesses to make that success sustainable and build on it.”
“That’s why Labour’s pledged to cut and freeze business rates and cap energy bills, which together could save firms up to £5,000 a year, improve training and increase apprenticeships, set up a state-backed Business Investment Bank to improve access to finance and £30b of devolved funding to the regions.”
Town MP, Sir Edward Leigh, said Market Rasen has had “a great deal of attention in previous years, but the past few months have seen an emphasis on other parts of the constituency.”
“It balances out overall, but we’re still keeping an eye out for ways to make Market Rasen even better,” he added.
Market Rasen Mayor John Matthews said in the past 2-3 years Market Rasen “has done very well” but it also needs public money for the markets and to refurbish Festival Hall.
MR BIG chair Sara Scott agreed, adding towns must produce “clearly formulated plans” to get government funding.