Lincolnshire

Councillor calls for Gainsborough name change

Gainsborough
Image caption It is nearly 1,000 years since Gainsborough was a major Viking settlement

A councillor is wanting to change the name of a Lincolnshire town to encourage more visitors.

Town councillor David Dobbie wants Gainsborough to be re-named Gainsborough-on-Trent.

Mr Dobbie says the name change would help to promote the town's history as it is coming up for 1,000 years since it was a major Viking settlement.

Some critics have said the name would end up being shortened by residents back to Gainsborough anyway.

'Former greatness'

Plans to build 2,500 homes in the town were given outline planning permission by West Lindsey District Council on Wednesday.

Mr Dobbie said: "Gainsborough's supposed to double in size in the next 20 years.

"The development is going to be on the eastern side of the river around Gainsborough. So, I thought it was a sensible way to point out we were a town based on the river and try to promote the town for its history.

"It's coming up for 1,000 years since it was the capital of Danelaw, where Sweyen had his base and his son Canute was given the crown from his father.

"Pointing out the history and the fact we're on the Trent would attract more people."

But local historian Darren Charles is less sure of the merits in a name change.

"In terms of re-branding, I'm not convinced," he said.

"Usually the general public end up shortening the title anyway. In terms of its relevance today, what role does the river actually play today? We're looking back at a time of former greatness rather than going forward."

Mr Dobbie said a motion would be going before the town council to discuss the issue.

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