Spalding Red Lion Quarter rescue plan approved

Red Lion Quarter centre
Image caption The food hall will be temporarily closed to cut costs

A £46,000 rescue deal for a £6.5m local food centre in Lincolnshire has been agreed.

Spalding's Red Lion Quarter centre, which opened in April, aimed to help local producers but suffered from empty units and lower than expected custom.

South Holland District Council agreed to bail out the centre at a meeting on Wednesday. The funds will be used to pay off suppliers who are owed money.

The food court will be closed until a new operator can be found.

The project was backed by the county and South Holland district councils, the East Midlands Development Agency, Lincolnshire Enterprise and Boston College.

As well as shop units and a food hall, the building has office space and facilities for further education groups.

But as early as July, its manager had left and a cost-cutting plan was introduced.

Now the district council said it would ensure the centre stayed open while a new operator is found.

To reduce running costs during this time, the building's flagship food hall will be closed.

The council has defended the rescue deal, saying many of the people owed money were local traders.

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