National Lottery grant leads to £1.9m heritage boost for Gainsborough

Ambitious plans to restore the ‘historic heart of Gainsborough are now possible thanks to a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Gainsborough Townscape Heritage Partnership will see over £1.9 million invested as part of a major project to restore historic buildings and heritage assets in the town. The town centre project will specifically focus on Lord Street and the Market Place.

This funding has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The partnership received a development phase grant of £49,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, along with £16,300 of match funding from West Lindsey District Council. This was to develop the plans further and work with business owners to scope out potential projects for the delivery phase. This work was key to be able to unlock this funding.

Anne Jenkins, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund for England, Midlands & East, is delighted to give the green light for this exciting project.

She said: “Heritage has a crucial role to play in contributing to a flourishing, more equitable and inclusive society. Sadly, we have seen a number of the historic buildings of Gainsborough fall into decline, but it is heartening to know that thanks to National Lottery players they will be restored to their former glory and given a new lease of life for the community.”

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Giles McNeill said: “This grant funding is the glue to our place shaping plans for Gainsborough. It will help us physically transform the town centre, potentially making it an extremely attractive place to live, work and invest.

“The success of this project means that our urban core remains at the absolute heart of our ambitions for the town and is at the centre of our growth programme. I am very excited about this project as Lord Street and Market Place have a wealth of historic buildings, which have sadly deteriorated in condition over the past decade.

“This success is down to the passion and dedication of the partnership and would not have been possible without a lot of hard work over a number of years. I would like to personally congratulate everyone involved.”

The partnership is made up of representatives from the Gainsborough Heritage Association, West Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Gainsborough Town Council, Gainsborough Place Board. University of Lincoln and the Gainsborough Queen Elizabeth’s High School.

The delivery will be made up of grants for building restoration and associated educational and cultural activity programme. Chairman of the Leisure, Culture, Events & Tourism Group at the Council, Cllr Paul Howitt-Cowan was thrilled with the news.

He said: “This project will breathe new life into our old buildings. The cultural and skills offer within this project will seek to connect under-represented groups with our town’s unique and often under-appreciated heritage. Gainsborough has overcome significant national competition for this funding and the award of this grant is a confirmation of confidence in the partnership’s capacity to deliver for the people of Gainsborough.”

The news comes just weeks after it was announced the Arts Council England had granted West Lindsey District Council £100,000 to fund a series of events in Gainsborough, commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower’s historic voyage.

The National Lottery funding will provide a host of arts and creative opportunities in Gainsborough as part of the ‘Mayflower 400’ project of events. 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts.