Agenda item


A report by the Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture


The Assistant Director of Leisure and Culture presented the review of 2023 Events and 2024 Programme of Events supported by the Interim Cultural Services Manager.

Committee were advised that the report was for information purposes and provided a summary of the 2023 events programme supported by the  BTAC (Boston Town Area Committee) approved programme of events.  The varied programme had allowed a wide range of opportunities for residents and visitors to celebrate Boston’s history and heritage and to participate in cultural activities, which enhanced health and wellbeing and increased a sense of community.  Large scale events, cultural interventions and external events had provided a wide ranging programme of activity which had been well received by residents and had been supported by good attendance and positive feedback. 


The smaller trails utilising Boston Guildhall, Fydell House and Blackfriars brought increased footfall to the key cultural venues with many participants visiting them for the first time.  Weather conditions had impacted on two events: the Beach event in Central Park had been affected by rain and Storm Babet in October had severely impacted on the October Fair in Central Park, resulting in severe damage to the site.  Whilst the Fair had been held previously at that time of year without any problems, the siting of the event would be reviewed moving forward with other locations being explored.

Member comment followed which included the following:

Referencing the success of the Christmas Event, a member questioned the initial ambition of extending it to a four day event, as it was clear that in the latter two days there had been a significant decrease in attendance. The member suggested that a busy two day event would be more productive for both traders and residents.  In response the Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture advised that it had been the wish of the new Council to provide a positive event following the previous years’ Christmas provision and that a full de-brief would be undertaken to gain a clear steer on future events.   Indications were that it had been very well received despite the poor weather conditions and there had been a positive increase in footfall.

A member questioned the aspirations of the Health and Wellbeing data within the Levelling Up Fund measures in the report, which he stated were the Government’s aspirations and were not specific to Boston.  The member asked if the data could be tailored to Boston and the Assistant Director – Culture and Leisure advised he would review the matter to see if was possible to amend the data specific to Boston.   

Noting the damage to Central Park and that eleven of the events throughout year had taken place on the site, a member questioned possible consideration of alternative sites for the events moving forward. The damage had been substantial and the grass which had been re-sown would take a long time to recover.  The Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture confirmed that alternative sites were being considered for the autumn events, but the spring and summer events would remain in Central Park and that was the agreed location. 



That the Environment and Performance Committee noted the report and commented on the outcomes of the events during 2023.

That the Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture would review the remit of the Levelling Up White Paper aspirations with a view to ascertaining the possibility to make them more specific to Boston[BR1] .   


 [BR1]Karen - can you please confirm

Supporting documents: