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A look back at 2023

11:48 am, Thursday, 21st December 2023 - 6 months ago


As 2023 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the last 12 months here in North East Lincolnshire. It’s been a huge year for our Borough, full of festivals, art, celebrations, and major developments in our towns. Let’s take a trip back through the year!


As the new year began, there was a win for wildlife as Freshney Parkway was awarded the title of a Local Nature Reserve – yet another to add to the list of our amazing nature spots!

People at Freshney Parkway

We celebrated our residents’ making steps to success, including LJ and Alyson Robinson who took part in adult learning opportunities across North East Lincolnshire. And over at Cleethorpes Library, the Junior Open Art Exhibition showcased the young creatives in our area.

People standing with artwork

Our New Year’s resolution to transform North East Lincolnshire started strong, with more than £18.4m of Levelling Up funds secured for Cleethorpes. Pictured is the artist’s impression of a new Sea Road building, which some of the LUF monies will be used for.

Artist impression of Sea Road, Cleethorpes


How good was it to read about Josie Hides who celebrated 40 years as a Lollipop Lady!

Lollipop lady

February also saw visions starting to take shape as planning applications for Freshney Place developments were approved. With a new market hall, cinema, and other leisure facilities in the works, this was a real win for Grimsby Town Centre.

Freshney Place artist impression

There was great news too for the staff at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre as they were rewarded for their continuous hard work, with Arts Council Accreditation status secured.

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre


We sprang into March with a spotlight on community spirit at the Civic Awards, as people, groups, and services were rewarded for their dedication to North East Lincolnshire.

People at the Civic Awards

We also remembered our heritage with the 175th anniversary of Grimsby railways. The history exhibition featured rare photographs documenting the story of railways and how they helped developed Grimsby into the world’s greatest fishing port.

Old railway photograph

Meanwhile, the Ross Tiger officially reopened following months of vital deck works, once again opening its doors to visitors.

Ross tiger ship

As we celebrated the inspirational women in our Borough on International Women’s Day, there was special recognition for Inna Rengach. More than a year on from the devasting invasion of Ukraine, Inna bravely shared her story of how she and her daughter fled their home and moved to North East Lincolnshire for a better future.

Woman outside Town Hall


Celebrations continued into April, as young people from across North East Lincolnshire received their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

People at Duke of Edinburgh Awards

There were updates to our Phone ‘n’ Ride service with a newly launched app, allowing users to track the vehicle, make advance bookings, send text message alerts and pre-pay the journey. This service is vital for some residents to travel around North East Lincolnshire, and these changes make it all that bit easier! Find out more about Phone ‘n’ Ride by visiting

Phone 'n' Ride


There was sadness in May as the passing of Norma Lincoln was announced. Norma was twice the former Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, a Councillor and Honorary Alderman of Great Grimsby, and her life was celebrated with tributes and a minute’s silence at the Mayor Making ceremony. 

Norma Lincoln photograph

We also witnessed historic ceremonies, as Scartho Ward Councillor, Ian Lindley, was sworn in as Mayor of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire. On a national scale, we watched the Coronation of King Charles III, marking the occasion in North East Lincolnshire with local events, celebrations, and street parties.

Men at Mayor making ceremony


What a month! June saw rare birds visiting our newest wetland site, Grimsby Town Centre buildings getting spruced up, and the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k was back.

People promoting Ørsted 10k

The fantastic Armed Forces weekend returned, one of our favourite events of the year. With a full programme including parades, live entertainment, flying displays and stalls full of food and drink, it was a weekend to remember!

Armed Forces Day flag

There were winners all around as we announced the results of our Clean Air Day poster competition, and the Rock Awards returned to Grimsby Town Hall to celebrate the achievements of students with learning difficulties.

Grimsby’s young people moved one step closer to walking through the doors of the state-of-the-art OnSide Youth Zone as the construction began. OnSide’s Youth Zone was one of the first projects awarded a Youth Investment Fund grant, and this project is just one example of how the fund can benefit local communities and their economy. The Horizon Youth Zone is expected to open early 2025.

People outside construction of Onside Youth Zone


As the Mayor raised a flag to celebrate 75 years of the NHS, we remembered the tremendous milestones the world-leading care service has made in Britain.

People outside Town Hall

Grimsby’s very own hero teacher, Zane Powels MBE, returned as a guest of honour at the Borough’s annual Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) awards, recognising the inspirational people who represent and support those with SEND.

People at SEND awards

We welcomed more murals, this time of the famous Dudley the Donkey, created by artist Jake Klone and managed by Creative Start CIC and Sam Delaney. Located down St Peter’s Avenue on the side of E-Factor’s building, the colourful mural brings a smile to those walking down the avenue and reminds us of Cleethorpe’s traditions!

Man with Dudley mural

Sam led Creative Starts Arts in Health CIC once again to repaint and add traditional signwriting to the exterior of the Alfred Enderby Smokehouse on the Port of Grimsby. This was the final piece of the jigsaw for the historic building, as the restoration works were also completed, restoring its unique character and instilling pride into the Kasbah area of the port.


In a proud moment for our Borough, we marked the 150th anniversary of Cleethorpes Pier. Our pier has stood strong against the elements and time and has been a staple of our seaside resort since its opening on August 4, 1873.  

Cleethorpes beach with pier

The first anniversary of North East Lincolnshire Council’s ownership of Freshney Place passed in August, and there were reflections on the changes there had been.

Freshney place


The first day of September marked a special achievement for Nurse Teresa Jackson, who celebrated 60 years of service within the NHS. Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Cllr Ian Lindley, invited Teresa to Grimsby Town Hall for a civic ceremony to congratulate her hard work and dedication.

Mayor meeting nurse

The annual Lincolnshire Day took place in an extra special way this year, as North East Lincolnshire was the host for 2023. Council Leaders, MPs, and business representatives were just some of those who flocked to see the changing face of the Port of Grimsby. The day started and finished at The Great Escape, a fantastic community base run by Creative Start to support people in recovery from addiction – a perfect way to showcase the talent across our Borough.

Men with Lincolnshire flag

You may have seen the Vikings return to Grimsby as the Grim Falfest was back in September with a dazzling light show, Viking funeral, heritage markets and battle re-enactments. This was just one of the exciting Heritage Open Days bringing North East Lincolnshire’s past to life throughout the month, including Tracks, Smacks and Sunhats Exhibition and a Pier, a Price and a Castle Exhibition.

Vikings at Grim Falfest


As we headed into October, there was great news as North East Lincolnshire was named as one of the UK’s initial nine Heritage Places by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. One of the projects that has already benefited from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is the new OnSide Horizon Youth Zone. Youngsters who are part of the project enjoyed a trip to Massachusetts, USA, which we reported on this month. (pictured)

Onside Youth Group on a trip to America

East Marsh United called on the people of Rutland Street to join in with the Six Feet of our Street project, with support from North East Lincolnshire Council, the NSPCC, Equans, and many other local people and services.  The street-wide clean up and repairs then turned into a play street thanks to the Together for Childhood team, as well as a performance from the Peace Choir and a special visit from local actor Thomas Turgoose. 

People cleaning the street


As National Tree Week arrived, it was time to celebrate the successful funding bids for the planting of hundreds of trees across North East Lincolnshire. The work began in November but will continue until April next year, gradually restoring trees within our streets, parks and open spaces.


Episode one of The Podkast dropped, recorded in the free-to-use hubs at Projekt Renewable. Find out what else is in store at Projekt Renewable by visiting

Projekt Renewable container

The end of the month saw a huge development as a devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire was announced, which could see existing money and power move from central government, to local decisionmakers across Lincolnshire County Council and North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils. Public consultation into the Proposal is live now and please remember to take part at

Devolution deal signing


The end of the year might be round the corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s quiet in North East Lincolnshire! With the holiday season in full swing, the Christmas trees at St. James’ Square and St. Peter’s Avenue are sparkling, the elves are popping up all over and the iconic displays at Grimsby Community Recycling Centre have had a festive makeover.

Men stood at the tip

The talents of our local people were under the spotlight with the announcement of the winners of the Cleethorpes photo competition. The amazing photographs will be visible next year as the work towards regenerating parts of Cleethorpes begins!

Boy under Cleethorpes Pier

It’s been a busy year, and these stories are just the tip of the iceberg. We can’t wait to see what’s in store in 2024.

For now, we wish everyone a Great Christmas and a very happy New Year.

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