Shoppers in Skegness queued outside Kirk’s Quality Food on High Street today, (Friday, November 21) in anticipation of its re-opening following a full shop refurbishment.
The shop was a hive of activity this morning as staff prepared for the 11am opening with a large gathering of people eager to enter.
A cash injection from East Lindsey District Council’s Rural Development Fund has enabled the Skegness business to refurbish its shop and buy new equipment resulting in the creation of four new jobs
Four jobs will also be created following the £50k boost.
Kirk’s Quality Food was awarded the cash as part of a £200K project to refurbish the shop and buy new display units and kitchen equipment putting more of an emphasis on the retail side of the business than the trade side.
The work will not only help to safeguard 20 existing jobs, but will also see the creation of a new full-time baker position, two-part time shop assistants, as well as an apprenticeship position.
John Kirk, one of the Directors explained: “We have been a part of Skegness town centre for many years and want to make our own contribution to bring back the vibrancy that it has lost in recent years. We need to ensure the future of our town centre and to do that we have to invest in our own business.
“We intend to invest a large sum of money into our business to sustain jobs and maintain the hours for our staff. With the help of East Lindsey District Council, we can ensure that our shop will be a stunning, upmarket contribution to Skegness.”
Kirk’s Quality Foods started life as butchers, W Borrell in 1899 and was bought by John and Andrew Kirk’s father, Dennis, in 1963.
The two brothers now jointly run the successful business.
Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Councillor Craig Leyland, said: “Successful town centres are important for a healthy local economy so it is important that local businesses look at ways to grow and develop. In some cases this can mean diversifying – as Kirk’s Quality Food is doing by placing more emphasis on the more profitable retail sector of the business. Going down this route will not only safeguard jobs but also create new all year round jobs which is important in areas such as Skegness, which traditionally see a large percentage of seasonal jobs on offer.”
Since being established two years ago, the Rural Development Fund has supported 23 projects with more than £638,000 of funding, as well as seeing six new businesses created, five festivals, 49 jobs created and numerous volunteering opportunities across the District.
The funding has also acted as a catalyst to attract nearly £800,000 of additional investment into the area.
The official re-opening of Kirks Quality Food, will take place at 6pm on Thursday, November 27, with the Mayor of Skegness, Coun George Saxon, District Councillors and the Jolly Fisherman in attendance.