Thursday, 16 January 2020

NASA's sand dune solution

ANTHROPOGENIC climate change and its associated rise in sea levels could prove a significant threat to some of the world’s iconic coastal space launch sites, including Florida’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

NASA is building a massive artificial dune along a stretch of the coast in a bid to protect the nation’s only launch site for human missions - but many experts say that ultimately it isn’t going to be enough.

Even conservative estimates suggest the low-lying Florida peninsula can expect to experience at least 5 to 8 inches of sea level rise by the 2050s, a figure which could double or treble if global warming is not contained at current levels.

Launch Complex 39A, the historic Apollo 11 and Space Shuttle launch pad that SpaceX now leases for its Falcon Heavy rocket, is one of the most vulnerable, as the base of the pad sits only a few feet above sea level and is just a quarter mile from the coastline.

The founding fathers of the US space programme chose a barrier island to launch rockets into space for safety reasons, preferring out of control rockets to explode over the ocean rather than land. But the very quality that makes this location a safe spot for launches threatens to be its downfall.
This year, the pad 39A complex is estimated to face a 14 percent annual risk of flooding, a figure which is likely to rise unless additional measures are taken to protect it, according an analysis released in late 2019 by Climate Central, an international organisation researching and reporting the science and impacts of climate change.
Predictions are equally uncertain for launch complex 39B, the future home of NASA’s SLS rocket which will be used to launch the first people to the Moon by 2024. The current annual flood risk, estimated at six percent, is likely to double within two decades.

It is unclear how much damage sea floods could cause to the actual launch pads but, at the minimum, rising water could isolate the complexes as inaccessible islands, also threatening support roadways and other infrastructure.

At the same time, natural barriers along the coastline are also eroding. Based on historical records and aerial photos, the beach in front of the Cape Canaveral area has thinned and moved inland by as much as 200 feet. Losses have been most severe along the stretch near pads 39A and 39B.

NASA biologist Don Dankert, technical lead for KSC’s environmental planning office, is charged with protecting the agency’s valuable launch assets. “Climate change is obviously important to the agency,” he says. “Looking into the future and how we address this with our infrastructure in our inland areas is a top priority.”

After studying various engineering solutions, Dankert and his team settled on constructing hefty inland sand dunes as a barrier between Florida’s launch pads and the encroaching ocean.

AS a result, NASA is currently using 350,000 cubic yards of sand to build a 3.2 mile long dune 17 feet high and 90 feet wide. The sand is being trucked from an inland source and is matched to the sand that is on local beaches for grain texture and size consistency. Once complete the dune will be covered with native vegetation to help maintain its integrity. 

But as global temperatures continue to climb and with forecasters warning of more frequent and stronger hurricanes, not everyone is convinced. Joseph Donoghue, an ocean sciences professor at the University of Central Florida, is assessing the effects of major storms on coastal environments at the National Center of Integrated Coastal Research.

“Sure, dunes are a good short-term solution. But the dunes are only good for as long as no major hurricanes come through,” he says. “Long-term, dunes aren’t going to do the job.”

NASA reckons the $35 million it is spending on the shoreline restoration project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, is money well spent. But according to Leesa Souto, Executive Director of the Marine Resources Council and Assistant Professor of Ocean Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology, sand dunes and sea walls only protect against storm surges and do not address flooding from rising groundwater.

“It's not just flooding from the ocean that we are concerned about; a rising sea level also increases pressure inland, causing the groundwater to rise,” she explains. “The launch pads are particularly vulnerable because they are out on a peninsula in the middle of the ocean between the estuary and the ocean.”

"Ground water is sea level so when sea level rises, ground water rises. So when the elevation of the land and the elevation of groundwater are the same, you have a lake," she added.

“So unless they’re going to build the launch pads on the top of the 17 foot dune they are going to be under water.”

The Jeff Bezos-led Blue Origin commercial spaceflight company, which is pumping a billion dollars into the Space Coast area as a launch base for its New Shepard rocket, is taking no chances. The company leases Launch Complex 36 and is currently building it both out and upwards. “The base of our rocket will be 50 feet above the ground, which is 20 feet above the 100 year flood plain,” says Scott Henderson, Blue Origin's vice president of test and flight operations.

Space Launch Complexes 40 and 41, which could be the site of the first commercial rocket launch of American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), are also at significant risk from future flooding, according to Climate Central's analysis.

United Launch Alliance (ULA), which leases space complexes 41 and 37 from the US Air Force, is not currently addressing climate change related impacts. “It becomes a real challenge of ‘what are you going to try to mitigate?’ and ‘what are you going to accept as an acceptable risk?’ So we’ve tried to balance that,” says Mark Dornseif, senior manager of engineering and infrastructure at ULA.

For an industry that routinely talks about its costs in millions, the billion dollar question remains: how viable will Kennedy Space Center be in the future? Florida’s Space Coast economy, which earns around $3 billion a year from ‘space’, is certainly banking on its success as long as possible.

But Blue Origin's Henderson envisions a time when there will be thousands of spaceports across the world and that, ultimately, Cape Canaveral may prove to have been just a starting point for human space exploration. “Today we’re constrained to coastal areas but in the long haul you need to be flexible and reliable enough to fly from lots of places," he says.

This is an extended version of an article first published 
by Clive Simpson on the ROOM Space Journal website.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Suffolk sojourn

Photo: Clive Simpson
THE side of Sussie’s Beach Hut Café on Southwold seafront didn’t have the best of views. The cool North Sea stretched to the left and, opposite the walkway to old concrete steps from the beach to the cliff road, began a series of colourful beach huts for which this part of Suffolk is quite famous.

Climb a few metres to the top of these steps, and Gun Hill has a much more open vista. As the name suggests the cliff walk is  still resplendent with an array of cannons aimed menacingly out over the North Sea. Today they stand on ceremony only, overlooking the colourful beach huts and traditional beach cafe.

In the late September sunshine the side bench at the café was wonderfully secluded from the stiff onshore breeze. There was a blue plastic, rectangular table to my left as I sat down to re-hydrate with a bottle of water. Underneath the table, almost to big for it, was a scruffy mass of grey hair, half standing half crouching and looking rather awkward. It had a pointy nose and sorrowful dark eyes. It was Ben, an Irish Wolfhound, I discovered as the lady sipping tea on the seat beside tried to cajole him into lying down.

The dog’s owner had a thin face too, though her nose was less pointy. She had shortish, straight hair and was probably in her late 60's. “Lovely to see you - have you missed a few afternoons?” she inquired of a blond-haired friend of equal vintage who came to sit down beside me. I almost felt part of the conversation.

“It was a lovely morning but I’ve decided I’m going to stop swimming,” she answered in a kind of high-pitched, whiny way. “Are you going to go through?” I realised that these hardy coastal ladies were talking about their daily, or weekly, sea swim. “It’s beginning to get chilly, and I have to be careful with my chest,” she added. I got the mental picture as the conversation rose and dove through swimming, sea temperatures and cold showers.

By now Ben was sprawled across the cold floor. It didn’t seem to bother him and I guess he had heard the conversation all before. His black nose poked out from under the table. “Bye Ben,” I muttered, as I set off to climb the steps to the road above, leading to the dunes and a brisk walk to catch the last ferry across the river before the close of day.

I had long wanted to visit Southwold and a weekend break at the village of Eye about 20 miles inland had provide the ideal opportunity.

In place name lore, Eye derives from the old English word for an island and, in Saxon times, such a place was generally surrounded by water. Though that is certainly not the case today, the neighbourhood retains its marshy nature in places. The ‘island’ in this part of Suffolk was originally formed by the low-lying water meadows of the River Dove.

Whilst on place names it struck me that originality does not always triumph over practicality. There are many “Eye’s” scattered across the country, including one close to my own hailing ground of Peterborough. And of course, there’s a beautiful River Dove cutting a different course in the Derbyshire Dales, my county of birth.

The small coastal village of Walberswick is probably more unusual when it comes to both naming and pronunciation. It’s adjacent to Southwold but neatly separated from it by the River Blyth which had flowed into its tidal estuary at this point.

The walk between the two settlements is an easy and popular stroll. The only decision is whether to take the Baily bridge across the river a short stretch to the north of the town, or pay to be rowed across the flowing Blythe in the tiny foot ferry, or large rowing boat depending on your perspective.

It’s a short crossing and the boatsman or woman skilfully guide the boat against the outgoing or incoming tide. From the ferry landing jetty there is a sheltered path in the lee of the dunes, or you can walk in the brazen North Sea air across the dipping dunes themselves.

Southwold is often depicted as the sort of seaside town that everyone thought had vanished into the past. But this small resort, and a few precious others like it, do still exist - and despite the trappings of modernity are relatively unspoilt. 

With its signature lighthouse, pier over the sea and rows of colourful beach huts, the town retains much of its original charm and character, though no doubt some of the die-hard locals like our swimming ladies would beg to differ. It does, however, still evoke that unfathomable touch of nostalgia for a time gone by, but it has also become increasingly trendy in recent years.

Where else, for example, would you find a Bentley, pristine open top sports cars and the latest, fashionable four-by-fours parked in a row along the cliff top sea road during a sunny September afternoon stroll towards the pier?

Camomile Cottage B&B.
About 40 minutes drive from Southwold, the 16th century timber framed Suffolk farmhouse that is now Camomile Cottage B&B nestles off a private lane lined with towering oak trees.

The French doors of the breakfast room embrace the east-facing decking, a perfect spot to enjoy the first rays of sunshine on late summer days such as this. Giant popular trees rise to the left, noisy in the morning breeze, and a beech hedge runs the length to the end of the garden, defining borders and a wide lawn path. At the far end a wooden seat looks back towards the house.

Later, in the afternoon, when the sun has shifted to the south west, shafts of sunlight cut through the side windows and skylights, and reflect interesting patterns onto the tiled floor from the antique wall mirrors. A gentle breeze spills through the open patio doors. It is a room of delightful light and relaxation.

It is easy to fall in love with a home like this where character and history is etched into every nook and cranny, and piece of decoration.

The quirky Camomile Cottage was once a 16th century timber framed Suffolk farmhouse. The traditional, grade II listed building has been tastefully restored and extended over recent years.

It offers luxury B&B accommodation in two bedrooms - one with an intriguingly slopey floor - along with an open fireplace in the cosy guest lounge, exposed original timbers and a romantic period-style finish, all reflecting the warm character of host Aly Kahane and her friendly mut, Fozzie.

Aly Kahane.
Aly, who has been running the B&B for almost 18 years, was the perfect hostess and made us feel very at home. A homemade welcome cake, delicious cooked breakfasts and easy relaxation. In this beautiful and charming setting, away from the busyness of everyday life, there was ample time to linger, to ponder and refresh.

September 2019 - Camomile Cottage B&B

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Overcoming Earth’s doomsday scenario

The latest issue of ROOM - available now

IF THE increase in space debris in Earth orbit remains uncontrolled and unregulated, it will eventually render outer space useless for the whole of humanity - a sober warning from Prof Ram Jakhu in the Winter 2019/20 issue of ‘ROOM Space Journal of Asgardia’.

In ‘Rule of law vital for humanity’s sustainability and survival’, Prof Jakhu examines the necessary legal frameworks needed to avoid potential doomsday scenarios and proposes that a new international legal order for outer space should also recognise that reckless and intentional creation of space debris is “a crime against humanity”.

Prof Jakhu’s article is one of six published in this issue based on presentations at the first Asgardia Space Science & Investment Congress (ASIC) held in Darmstadt, Germany, in October.

As its theme ‘Paving the Road to Living in Space’ suggests, ASIC’s goal was to offer a strategic pathway to the future, homing in on the interconnected themes of the extraordinary science and technology required to support permanent space habitats and the first humans born in space.

With around 150 specialist attendees from around the globe it was something of a niche congress headed up by Asgardia Science Minister Prof Floris Wuyts, a world-leading human physiology specialist from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

ROOM’s cross-section of Special Reports from ASIC are selected from more than 50 presentations, each of which provided an insight into one of the challenging themes discussed in talks, panel sessions and posters.

A core vision of Asgardia the Space Nation is to achieve the first birth of a child in space and, in doing so, progress towards its long term strategy of creating off-world human settlements.

To further this goal, challenging issues relating to radiation and artificial gravity need to be addressed and ASIC was the first such event created specifically to allow world-leading scientists already working in these areas to come together to present and discuss their research.

Whilst space is both inspirational and motivational, offering immense possibilities for the future, success will depend on the vision and success of entrepreneurs such as Jeff Manber of Nanoracks (‘Commercialising space exploration and development’) and financial experts such as Seraphim Capital’s Mark Boggett, who provides valuable insights into the space funding landscape in ‘Venture capital investment in space’.

Advanced technology is another vital part of the mix; Tigran Mkhoyan focuses on the ‘Coriolis effect in rotating space platforms’ whilst Nissem Abdeljelil, of the National Center for Nuclear Science & Technologies in Tunisia, addresses the potential of using ionising radiation to manage biofilm contamination in ‘Surviving bacteria in space’.

ASIC discussed everything from creating artificial gravity and combating radiation to a birth in space, as well as considering how to secure the investment and develop the technologies to achieve it all.

This issue of ‘ROOM Space Journal of Asgardia’ is available in print delivered direct to your home or in digital format from next week (16 December). To buy this issue or start a great value annual subscription for the world’s leading space magazine, please visit: ROOM subscriptions

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Johnson's land of fake believe

“WHY, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” said Alice in Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland.

And at times in the last three years it has seemed that we too might be living in some kind of political fantasy land. But as we jump from one preposterous situation to another one thing is becoming clear - we are part of a  world that is being rapidly transformed in a period of dizzying transition.

For now, we are seemingly caught in a series of confusing battles between opposing forces: between truth and falsehood, fact and rumour, kindness and cruelty; between the few and the many, the connected and the alienated.

In our 24/7 inter-connected culture what counts as fact is increasingly a view that someone feels to be true. And technology (including social media like Facebook and Twitter, which have become purveyors of ‘news’) has made it very easy for these ‘facts’ to circulate in a cascade of information with a speed and reach that was unimaginable even a decade ago.

Brexit, like the rise of Donald Trump and the accession to the throne of prime minister Boris Johnson in the summer, is partly a symptom of the rise and rise of social media and, at the same time, the mass media’s growing weakness, especially in controlling the limits of what it is acceptable to say.

Trump is a master of articulating ‘truths’ which, quickly circulated on social media, become enough on their own to help him secure winning shares of popular votes. Johnson has done the same.

The pre-Christmas general election campaign also mirrors the so-called ‘promises’ made by those campaigning to leave the EU during the UK referendum of 2016. Even basic scrutiny at the time revealed many to be empty, vacuous and unworkable promises. But they all too easily became accepted as ‘truth’.

For the UK, an unsavoury picture of a post-Brexit world, led by a right-wing Conservative government, is now beginning to emerge: one where the rule of law, due process and even fact itself might easily crumble before the might of the mob, who themselves are directed by the Machiavellian schemes of press barons and wannabe dictators.

It seems that prime minster Boris Johnson appeals to a stereotype that has a deep grip on the English psyche. Buffoonish and commonsensical, he portrays the kind of moral seriousness one might expect from a tricksy, Old Etonian ex-journalist, whilst at the same time displaying that Alice in Wonderland quality I also attributed to Teresa May.

Like May, the public image of Johnson might be described as something akin to "pretense" but in the case of Johnson I would add the word “deceit”.

It is indeed a tribute to the power of cliches and soundbites that we fail to see what is in front of our noses and so few have noticed. Just like Teresa May the main reason Johnson is prime minister is because he put personal ambition before principle.

Despite his interest in ‘the classics’, Johnson has proved himself a very ordinary orator, often bumbling and mostly merely trying to regurgitate pre-prepared soundbites ad nauseam.

Far from ‘taking back control’, Johnson’s leadership to date also demonstrates that Brexit is depriving ordinary people of the ability to take decisions, giving privileges to the special interests the leave campaign claimed it was fighting against, and imposing burdens on the taxpayer far greater than the mythical £350 million a week that Vote Leave claimed was sent to Brussels.

Johnson and his defenders say he is responding to “the absolute will” of the British people but even without the muddy waters of truth versus untruth and confused Brexit strategy at best, a 52-48 vote was hardly the people speaking as one. And opinion has changed since then.

Perhaps, as we approach Chistmas 2019 in this post-referendum, pre-Brexit Britain, we can more easily understand our prime minister by seeing that he is no different to many others when it comes to abandoning beliefs in favour of ‘truths’.

Disappointingly since taking office, he has failed to level with the public and confront them with the hard choices ahead. Rather than speak plainly, he has proffered the notion that Brexit will be painless.

As prime minister of 'pretenses', Johnson ran a government where feelings and ideologies seem to matter more than fact. He pretends the country should leave the EU at all costs, even though he knows deep inside its best interests are as a member of the single market.

He offers the illusion that the people are taking back control, even as the freedom to act is lost (see page 48 of the Conservative manifesto). He cuts deals in secret, in the hope that the public will never realise that his land of make-believe is going to be an expensive and very different place to live.

The political earthquakes of recent times have been tectonic in nature and heralded a significant lurch to the right in both UK and global politics, where false truth and self-interest often trumps rational and reasoned argument.

As election day approaches we have a final opportunity to call a halt to this national decline and deliver a verdict of hope and optimism for the coming new decade.

To paraphrase former prime minister Sir John Major, “Tribal loyalty has its place... but sometimes you need to vote with your head... and this is such a time.”

In three years it seems as though politics in Britain has moved backwards not forwards. The above commentary is an update on a piece I wrote in November 2016. Not much has changed except for the names! Here's a link to my original 'Land of make believe'

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Brexit election's invisible uncertainty

PERHAPS one of the most remarkable things about the so-called ‘Brexit election' is how little is being actually said about Brexit itself, or, more accurately, how little is being said about life after Brexit if, indeed, the Tories are about to “get Brexit done”.

The 2016 referendum was pitched as a vote for change, a vote to reject the status quo. Cajoled by big-ticket promises, or in some cases downright lies, people believed that somehow "leaving Europe" would make their lives better.

Three years later it is now almost certain that under a Tory-led Brexit the UK’s terms of trade are going to be inferior, perhaps substantially so, to EU membership - and it will become clear that Brexit is not the panacea that many people were promised.

Despite Boris Johnson's incessant proclamations, a vote for the Tory party will certainly not bring an end to uncertainty. Investment will not be unlocked and businesses will continue to await the development of negotiations.

And even if these are sorted relatively quickly, thus reducing or even ending uncertainty, it does not follow by any means that the economic consequences will be positive.

It is somewhat surprising therefore to hear Brexit commentator Chris Grey, Professor of Organisation Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London, asserting that he has never seen a party conduct a general election campaign in such a low-key way.

“As during the party leadership contest, Johnson is scarcely visible - despite his much-vaunted campaigning skills - and has pulled out of several events, including the Channel 4 climate debate, an Andrew Neil BBC interview and even his own constituency hustings,” he says.

“And where is Jacob Rees-Mogg, for the last three years so ubiquitous in radio and TV studios that it sometimes seemed he had his own chair? Perhaps he is judged too toxic, especially following his Grenfell remarks - but it a strange kind of politician who does not come out in public when up for election.

“So, in the absence of both a substantive manifesto and a campaign providing a compelling and inclusive plan to do so, Johnson’s talk of ‘a nation moving forward’ post-Brexit might better be described in Tacitus’s line ubi solititudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

“Johnson and Rees-Mogg, possessed of the classical education that they and sycophantic cap-doffers mistake for intellectual accomplishment, would have no difficulty in translating: they make a desert and they call it peace.”

Chris Grey's Brexit blog - What would getting Brexit done mean?

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Paving the road to living in space

A MINDSET anchored within endeavours of the past and established ways of doing things is one of the most significant obstacles to humanity’s space-faring future.

Five decades after the first Moon landing, most major space agencies and all but a handful of private launch companies remain focused on the on-going development of expendable launchers or, at best, only partly reusable launchers.

Undoubtedly today’s rockets are more efficient than their predecessors. But are their inherent inefficiencies truly the way to herald a new golden age of space exploration?

The expendable rocket mindset is one of the biggest remaining barriers to a new Space Age and, if the new US Moon programme is to lead to a ‘permanent’ lunar endeavour, economic and environmental sustainability are paramount. This means leaning towards low-cost, practical and private-sector driven solutions which have the potential to create profitable and sustainable new business opportunities.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), for example, is hardly ground-breaking or inventive - more a product of linear, stop-start development. Of course, it benefits from advanced technology and engineering but, five decades after Saturn V, it lacks true innovation and the spark of commercial endeavour.

The agency has spent about US$14 billion on its super rocket and related development costs since 2010 but SLS is not expected to fly before at least mid- to late 2021. In contrast, SpaceX privately developed its mostly reusable Falcon Heavy rocket on the back of its Falcon 9 for about US$500 million, and has flown three successful missions since February 2018.

Likewise, Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser is the only existing commercial spaceplane in the world that is both fully reusable and capable of a runway landing. Despite this NASA still only wants to use it for the transfer of cargo to the International Space Station.

At a time when reusability, in every sense of the word, should be at the forefront, agencies such as NASA (SLS), ESA (Ariane 6), Roscomsos (Soyuz), JAXA (H-IIB) and ISRO (GSLV) seem intent on pursuing the expendability route to orbit, albeit with a modern technical twist.

Do projects like SLS cast us far enough into the future or, in some perverse way, do they limit our future ambitions? The future of space and human exploration is intrinsically intertwined with our future on Earth itself. It should not be owned by politics and politicians but by risk-takers and the visionary.

*        *        *

ROOM Space Journal is delighted to be a media sponsor of this October’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington DC, one of the biggest and most important annual gatherings of space people.

Autumn also sees the first ever Asgardia Science & Investment Congress (14-16 October, Darmstadt, Germany), ‘Paving the Road to Living in Space’.

ASIC’s goal is to offer an alternative pathway to the future, eschewing the establishment mindset as it homes in on the parallel and interconnected themes of the extraordinary science and technology required to support permanent space habitats and the first humans born in space.

Specialist speakers will also assess how the vital investment and commercial returns needed to support these bold endeavours can be created.

If you want to join like-minded visionaries in planning the practical first steps to our future in space, there is still time to register via the ASIC website

My editorial in the autumn issue of ROOM Space Journal
Image: Envisioning a space-faring future by James Vaughan

Friday, 6 September 2019

'Booking' the trend

A couple who have lived in Bourne all their lives are throwing open the doors this weekend to their dream - a new independent bookshop for the town.

Karen and Peter Smith have invested a significant amount of their personal savings into their Bourne Bookshop venture, which is located in the town’s Burghley Centre.

We’re excited it has finally come to fruition,” says Karen, who previously worked for a local agricultural firm and will be the shop’s full-time manager. She expects to employ two or three part-time staff.

“I love meeting people and have always enjoyed books so this is the perfect combination for me,” she adds.

Bourne Bookshop joins a growing number of successful, independent bookshops across the country that are bucking the trend for ebooks and online purchasing.

“Things have come full circle and people increasingly want to read real, printed books and browse before they buy,” explains Karen.

“We really want to make it work and have been overwhelmed by all the messages of support we’ve had from local people while preparing the shop.”

Karen and Peter took a long time to find exactly the right premises with good footfall and were supported in their quest by InvestSK.

“We are very happy with our location in the Burgley Centre,” says Peter, who has three grown-up children and one grandchild.

He plans to support Karen on the business side and in the shop at weekends but will continue his job as a market development manager for a national agricultural firm.

“It’s around five years since there was a bookshop in Bourne and we decided now was the time to plug this gap in the local market,” said Peter.

"This is an independent family business and we are treating it as a serious business venture," he added.

The shop will only sell brand new books, along with a few other specialist lines including jigsaws and some children’s toys.

“We'll have about 2,000 fiction and non-fiction books in stock at any one time covering all genres, as well as a good children's section," says Karen.

"We'll also have a next-day ordering service and, as things develop, will adjust the range of titles we stock according to what our customers like and ask for.”

The shop had two preview open days during the Bourne Cicle Festival weekend and is being officially opened by Coun Brenda Johnson, the Mayor of Bourne, this Saturday (7 September) at 9 am.

Initially it will be open six days a week between 9 am and 6 pm but Karen says opening times may become more flexible, according to customer needs.

“We'll also be looking to open on Sundays and some late evenings, especially at times of the year like the run up to Christmas.”

Jon Hinde, head of economy and skills at InvestSK, said: "It's a great boost to the town to have another new independent retailer on the high street, and one that provides an offer not currently available.

“This will help to increase footfall in Bourne while also diversifying the current offering in the Burghley Centre and town as a whole."

Opened in 1989, Bourne's Burghley Centre has undergone a new lease of life in recent years.
As well as a variety of independent shops it is now home to several big high street names including a Marks & Spencer foodstore, Specsavers and Subway.

 Article written for Stamford Mercury newspaper - Bourne bookshop set to open on Saturday