Think Boston - Think Business
Latest figures show that Boston is bucking the trend for new business and job opportunities.
Independent statistics reveal that Boston had a positive outcome when comparing new business start-ups with those which went to the wall in 2016. There were 300 business "births" compared to 225 business "deaths", making Boston one of the most successful areas for business in the county.
In Lincolnshire only Boston and North Kesteven increased their new business start-ups from 2015 to 2016.
Boston Borough Council's environment and performance scrutiny committee heard that new and expanding existing businesses had generated more than 250 new jobs in the past two years and there has been more than £60 million worth of investment with a further £20 million worth progressing.
Clive Gibbon, the council's economic development manager, told councillors: "The vision is to create a strong, successful and resilient economy that works for all by positioning the borough as a destination of choice for investing, working, living and visiting.
"We are challenging perception and unlocking the potential of Boston through positive messages and marketing to attract further economic investment."
He spoke about collaborative working with partners in the public and private sectors to deliver economic development, skills, housing, infrastructure and transport and to develop tourism, heritage and cultural opportunities.
Councillors heard that 15 businesses employ 250-plus people, which Clive said was impressive for the size of the borough. Agriculture is the main industry, but retail and manufacturing and processing are the biggest employers.
He said skills and attainment levels are the biggest areas of concern.
The council is also working to create economic stability by investing in young people in partnership with education providers and the business community. In September the council launched an initiative with Primary Engineer to encourage more young people to consider a career in engineering. Participants included Metsawood Boston, RAF Coningsby, RAF Waddington, Mastenbroek, Anglian Water, Akerman Aviation and Marine. The council has put £40,000 into an initial two-year engineering education project to provide teachers across the three tiers of school education with the necessary training and tools to deliver curriculum-linked engineering projects.
The aim is to establish strong education and engineering industry links by partnering schools and pupils with engineers in the classroom.
A project is underway to make Boston an "EV charging town", attracting visitors to a vehicle charging stop-off location.
Cllr Tom Ashton said the borough had a lot to commend itself to new and expanding businesses and their employees, but he wanted more done to improve connectivity, especially rail links with London.