Community building plans for old Co-op site

New life could be breathed into a Caistor building, if residents show their support for the town council’s proposed plans.

For the cost of half a Mars bar a week, the former Co-op building in the town’s Market Place could be purchased for the community.

That was the message the town council gave to residents at a public meeting held in the town hall last week when the plans were unveiled.

More than 100 residents attended the meeting, with 90 percent in favour of the plans.

The project would see the building turned into mixed usage - some residential, office space, small start-up units for local businesses and tourist accommodation.

“It is hoped that additional health facilities will be attracted, in the form of a dentists or opticians,” said town clerk Helen Pitman.

The large building has a prominent place within the Market Place, but has been empty since the Co-op relocated to a purpose-built store on the site of the former Talbot Inn.

“The town council has negotiated a deal with Lincolnshire Co-op which will only cost an extra 34 pence per week in council tax on a Band D property in Caistor, an overall increase of 1.16% on council tax bills,” said Mrs Pitman.

The cost of purchasing the building, via a loan, would be met by increasing the precept from £77,883 to £94,583.

Repayments on the loan, say the council, would be met out of reserves were the government to cap town and parish councils, which is not expected until rental income is received, probably in early 2016.

And as part of the deal, the Co-op has pledged a £100,000 grant to kick start the project.

Residents can show their support, before August 31, by contacting the clerk via email at hs.pitman@tiscali.co.uk.

Alternatively, call in to Caistor Post Office to register your vote.