Lincolnshire Co-op has hit back at councillors’ allegations its former Caistor store has become a “filth pit”.
A Co-op spokesman told the Rasen Mail it has spent thousands of pounds on maintaining the “landmark” building since moving out in 2010.
Speaking at a Caistor Town Council meeting Coun Martin Sizer said: “It’s (the former Co-op building) a filth pit. 25 per cent of the Market Place looks like a dump.”
And Coun Mike Galligan agreed saying the maintenance of the building was an “absolute scandal”.
Lincolnshire Co-op spokesman Michelle Scott said: “We moved out of the listed building because unfortunately we weren’t able to adapt it to fit our needs.
“Since that time, we’ve spent thousands of pounds on maintaining it and carrying out various repairs which, for practical reasons, had to be carried out in sequence.
“We have completed substantial work on the roof, along with several necessary internal repairs, and now this is done a contractor has been instructed to repair the fascia.”
Fascia repairs will take place during the next two weeks and then the Co-op says it will be able to start external redecoration.
This will include fitting vinyl to the inside of windows to enhance the appearance.
Michelle said: “We’d like to reassure residents that the building is inspected inside and out on a weekly basis to ensure that it remains safe and isn’t a fire hazard.
“We are disappointed, as are local residents, that the building has remained unoccupied despite our efforts and those of others locally to find a suitable and economic use for it.
“This remains a priority and we are looking to work with Heritage Lincolnshire to seek a solution for this important landmark building.”