Grantham business shuts for good and blames £4.1m project for lack of customers

A bubble tea business in a Lincolnshire town has closed, blaming work in the nearby Market Place for the lack of customers. The Boba Bar in Grantham opened in March 2023, offering bubble tea, milkshakes, tea, coffee, cakes and desserts.

It is one of many shops on the Market Place which claim to have been affected in some way by the ongoing £4.1 million works to pedestrianise the area. The works are part of a two-phase project developed by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) to improve both the Market Place and Station Approach.

However, many business owners in the area are furious, claiming they have caused a decrease in footfall. A statement from The Boba Bar on social media reads: “It is with much sadness that we had to come to a difficult decision to close our doors permanently. This is due to a decline in footfall since the roadworks started.

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“Customers expressed their frustration in getting to our shop and getting parked up.” The owners assured customers that they could still order via Just Eat despite the shop being closed.

The statement continued: “We understand that this news may be disappointing for some of you but we hope that you will continue to support our small business.”

The three-month project will see major changes to the Market Place in Grantham
The three-month project will see major changes to the Market Place in Grantham

The works began in May and are due to finish in August. After an initial outcry from businesses when the works started, SKDC said it was “doing its best” to monitor the situation and that “full pedestrian access is being maintained throughout the project”.

A spokesperson for SKDC said: “It is always disappointing to hear of business closures, under any circumstances. Full pedestrian access to Grantham Market Place is being maintained throughout the improvement works and all our shops, markets and local businesses are trading as normal.

“There is plenty of car parking within easy walking distance of the town centre – some of it only a minute away from the Market Place. The work will make the area safer for pedestrians, create a single, level, open space for our traditional weekly market and include refurbishment of the Conduit Lane public toilets.

“Our vision is to bring back a busy, thriving, Market Place and this has already started with events and family entertainment being provided on market days throughout the roadworks period. We continue to urge everyone to support the high street and local businesses.”

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