Thursday, July 25, 2024

Heritage scheme to bring new life to more Gainsborough buildings

Heritage improvements to five more building in Gainsborough have been approved as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

West Lindsey District Council has been working with local building owners and tenants to improve the condition of historic buildings. The aim is to reverse the decline of the town by offering substantial grants towards the costs to renovate the buildings, bringing empty properties back into use and maximising the potential for them to be used today.

The council was awarded £1.25m to repair, restore and regenerate the buildings in Gainsborough as part of the THI. The National Lottery Heritage Fund award for historic building repair grants was later supplemented significantly by a large additional award from the Levelling Up Fund.

Work in the town has been moving apace with a number of projects completed or near completion and a new round of exciting developments are set to get underway.

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Trevor Young said: “As someone who has grown up and lives in Gainsborough and is enthusiastic about seeing improvements, it is very exciting to see the number of buildings which are now involved with the scheme.

“Visitors and residents will no doubt be familiar with the work that has been completed with 5-7 Market Place, now The Fabric Place, 27-29 Lord Street and 7 Lord Street. The improvements to these buildings have had a positive impact upon the townscape.

“I am delighted that the Restoration Grants Panel unanimously approved the funding for more buildings and I am looking forward to watching the work begin and seeing the final completions.”

Buildings that will receive funding include:

  • 24 Market Street – the Old Courthouse which stands across the road from the Guildhall will have the sash windows overhauled, alongside repairs to the brickwork, pointing and rainwater goods.
  • 37 Lord Street – Café Latte will have work conducted on the windows and brickwork. The largest difference people will notice will be the reinstatement of a traditional shopfront and awnings.
  • 1,3,5 Lord Street /2 Ropery Road – Clock House and Salon 5 – and 2 Ropery Road, which shares a roof with 1 Lord Street. It is the repair of this roof that will form the bulk of the work, alongside the replacement of the windows with wooden sash, and the introduction of more traditional entranceways and awnings.
  • 25 Lord Street – has already undergone a significant amount of work to introduce three new retail units on the ground floor of the former public house, and will see work continuing to the exterior. Work will include the repair to the roof and windows, the removal of cement render and the reinstatement of the stone string course which was discovered to have been carved with the former name of the inn – The Black Bull.

Abigail Buckland, Townscape Heritage Delivery Coordinator at the council explained that the Restoration Grant Panel will review a further building application.

  • 34-36 Market Place, better known as Walter’s Opticians is looking to carry out repair work to the bricks and windows and an adjustment to the shopfront, bringing it closer in design to what it would once have been.

Abigail said: “The centre of Gainsborough is going to look quite different by this time next year. There are a number of properties with planning permission approved which we hope to see at a grant panel in the not-too-distant future.

“Foremost of these is the Town Hall, the proposed works for which will have a huge impact upon the appearance of the Market Place. Key amongst these changes will be the replacement of the 1950s canopy with a more visually sympathetic glass canopy, giving a wider area of covered space to give shelter from the elements.”

  • The former WHSmith’s building on 1 Silver Street will also see a big change. Alongside the replacement to the shopfront with a traditional wooden design, three new retail units will be created in the former warehouse section along Curtis Walk, bringing exciting opportunities to an often-overlooked area of the town.

A reinstatement of a traditional shopfront at 5 Silver Street (Lincs IT) will continue the spread of works along this area of the Townscape Heritage area, which will be bookended by similar works at the other end of the street in the former Heron Foods building at 27 Silver Street.

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