A sleekly produced video promoting all that is good about the county has just been unveiled with the aim of ‘showing people what makes Lincolnshire the perfect place to live, work, visit, and invest’.
But as we look to celebrate Lincolnshire Day this Saturday - there’s a major flaw. Much of the video - which cost Lincolnshire County Council £4,750 to produce - concentrates on Lincoln.
Places such as Boston, Horncastle, Spalding, Louth, Market Rasen, Skegness, Sleaford and Spilsby don’t get a mention. Mablethorpe does get a small snapshot with an opening scene of sandcastles on the beach.
In the 1.42 minute video, produced by Lincoln-based Epix Media, there is no sign of Boston’s famous Stump or the historic Market Place, Skegness’s Jolly Fisherman with the famous motto ‘It’s SO Bracing’ or Spalding’s beautiful Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens. In fact, many of our pretty towns and villages outside Lincoln seem to have been missed out, while Lincoln appears six times. Other places that feature briefly are Stamford, Caistor, Bassingham, the Wolds and Grantham.
The county council says the video has been designed ‘to give people a flavour of Lincolnshire’s enviable lifestyle, highlighting its good schools, reasonably-priced housing, beautiful landscapes and more’.
A statement read: “It will be used primarily to encourage people to come and work in the county, and will be made available to local employers who wish to incorporate it within their own promotional and recruitment campaigns. It will also help in marketing the county to potential investors and tourists.”
Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We all know Lincolnshire is a great place to live, with a very attractive way of life.
“However, it’s not unusual to meet people from outside the county who know nothing about us, which can be a real issue when you’re trying to recruit people to come and work here. So we decided to create this short video as a way of giving people a quick and memorable taste of our county. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing the clip with as many as people as possible to spread the word about all Lincolnshire has to offer residents, visitors and investors.”
He added: “What we have tried to do is give an overall flavour of what people will find when they come to Lincolnshire. The county has a lot to offer, and we’d have needed a feature-length film to get it all in. But if you try to tell people everything at once, they simply switch off. It’s far better to give them something short that grabs their attention. Once you’ve done that, that’s when you can start to tell them the full Lincolnshire story.”
A public document explains how the video was commissioned by the county council’s Strategic Communications Department after members discussed an approach to place marketing at the May Economic Scrutiny Committee. Members wanted to see ‘good quality content that explained the narrative of Lincolnshire (and greater Lincolnshire) emphasising the quality of life for residents, visitors and investors’.
The fact that a number of prominent Lincolnshire locations does not feature in the video came as a shock to many we spoke to.
Mayor of Boston Coun Stephen Woodliffe was surprised to hear Boston has not been included and said: “I’m very disappointed.”
Council leader Peter Bedford, said the council would be producing its own video. He added: “We are supportive of anything which promotes Lincolnshire to the wider public and will do our best to continue to showcase Boston and all it has to offer to those who we hope will want to come here to live, work and do business. We are looking at producing our own promotional film showcasing Boston.”
Boston Borough councillor Paul Gleeson, who is also chairman of the Corporate and Community Committee, said: “I am not surprised the county has ignored Boston. There seems to be a history that we are the last resort. We have a rich heritage and some fantastic attractions. I cross the road from my house and I can walk all the way down to the wash. We have the RSPB centres and a whole wealth of history; we’ve got the Boston Mayflower anniversary celebrations coming up, we have the Boston Marathon and I’ve been pushing for a food festival. We should be a vibrant place and we need to change the storyline. We need to be promoting the town to young professionals. The world does seem to centre around Lincoln in their (the county council’s) minds.”
Mayor of Skegness Coun Dick Edginton
“It is a glaring oversight and insulting. I find the whole thing bizarre. Skegness is a vibrant seaside resort and one of the fourth or fifth most visited seaside resorts in the country and failing to mention this is bizarre. If this video is to bring potential investors and tourists into the area it should be promoting the county as a whole. It cannot be hit and miss. It is a bit too one-sided to me. It seems to highlight the fact that our coastal resorts are not included out of sheer neglect from the powers that be.”
Mayor of Sleaford Coun David Suiter
“They have not included Sleaford?! I think it is quite disgraceful from the county council. I am very disappointed that Sleaford is not covered. As a growing town, it has very good schools for a start and I do feel that it should be represented by the county council.
“Sleaford has quite a lot to offer. It has the shop window scheme (an initiative to revitalise the town’s shop fronts), and a lot of people relocate to Sleaford. There is the National Centre for Craft and Design and our museum and Sleaford in Bloom does a lot of work for the town and usually wins a prize. We have the volunteers working on the river (as part of the clean up). I think there are a lot of things the county council could do to improve Sleaford and promote it as a way of providing jobs. We need more recruits in the doctor surgeries for example. There are a lot of good things going on in Sleaford.”
Mayor of Horncastle Coun Bill Aron
“While I would have liked to have seen Horncastle featured, it’s important to remember that this video is only designed to give people a snapshot of the county. Hopefully, it will be successful in getting people to think about Lincolnshire as a place to live, visit and invest. Once they are interested in finding out more, we’ll have ample opportunity to tell them about everything our great town has to offer.”
Mayor of Mablethorpe Coun Joyce Taylor
“I’m very proud that Mablethorpe is featured in the video. Mablethorpe is a traditional seaside place. It is a family holiday resort and we live on our tourism. It is a very low wage area. I agree, it would have been nice for other resorts to feature. Healthy competition does not hurt anybody and we have a lot to offer in Lincolnshire. We have our heritage and lots of interesting places, with castles, watermills, windmills. People say Lincolnshire is flat but we have the Wolds. We are proud of Sutton-on-Sea, Trusthorpe and Mablethorpe and have a lot of people who work hard, volunteering by doing all sorts of things, people going out litter-picking and keeping it nice and tidy.”
Mayor of Spilsby Coun Gill Rymer
“It is a shame Spilsby was not included and I feel it should have been. Spilsby is dying. There are empty shops and people don’t seem to come into the town. I was asked to open a new pet supply shop the other day and I was really pleased about that as we need more shops to open. But people will come to use the Sainsburys and then go. Even on a Monday when we have the market, there are people until about midday and then they don’t spend the time to wander around the town afterwards.”
Coun Nick Worth, deputy leader of South Holland District Council
“My feeling is they have a short promotional video so you have limited time in it but having spoken to them they need to give consideration to the whole county and they have six or seven bits around the Lincoln area. There are parts of Spalding such as Ayscoughfee, and Boston that could have been included. I can understand why they have done it. They are trying to show bits of the county to promote as a business opportunity and trying to get people into the county but I have spoken to people at the council since. You have to bear in mind you only have one-and-a-half minutes of video.”
Market Rasen mayor John Matthews
“Whilst I appreciate that not every town and village can be included in a production such as this, I am very disappointed not to see some inclusion of Market Rasen. We host the only racecourse in the county, have an award winning golf club. The A level and GCSE results from De Aston School Academy have been outstanding again. We have, probably, the oldest traditional sweet shop in the county ‘Garnetts’ and establishments such as the 2 AA Rosette restaurant at the Advocate Arms. How can County miss Market Rasen from its Lincolnshire promo?”
Mayor of Louth, Coun Eileen Ballard
“Whilst I accept that realistically it’s not feasible to mention every town and village within Lincolnshire and that it was made to give a ‘flavour of Lincolnshire’s enviable lifestyle highlighting its good schools, reasonably priced housing and beautiful landscape and more’, some of the emphasis on Lincoln could have been substituted with other towns and villages within Lincolnshire - including Louth - thereby giving a broader picture of life within Lincolnshire.”
Do you think you can do better? Could you produce a promotional video for the county or town? Keep you videos to just one minute and we will feature the best we are sent. Email the editor email@example.com.