Funding focus for Caistor’s former Co-op store

The old Co-op building in Caistor Market Place EMN-170428-083849001
The old Co-op building in Caistor Market Place EMN-170428-083849001

Plans for a future use of Caistor’s former Co-op store could move forward – if volunteers come on board to help see the project through.

The building, which occupies 25 percent of the town’s market place, has been the subject of much discussion since the company moved into its purpose-built High Street premises in December 2010.

The shop front now features a timeline of Caistor’s history, but full refurbishment is still, very much, a talking point.

“The outside looks fine, but it is what is going on inside that is of concern,” said Caistor town clerk Helen Pitman.

In a statement read at last week’s Annual Town Meeting, it was confirmed Lincolnshire Community Land Trust (LCLT) had been approached by Lincolnshire Co-op and Heritage Trust for Lincolnshire in relation to a proposed bid for Heritage Lottery funding for the former Co-op store.

Work is ongoing between Heritage Lincolnshire and Heritage Lottery Fund to determine the most effective way of making a bid, which is likely to be in multiple stages.

The statement went on to say: “It is clear, however, that Heritage Lottery Fund expect there to be some form of local non-profit organisation central to the project and with an ongoing role in future management and/or ownership of the refurbished building.”

This could be a new organisation set up for the purpose.

If an initial funding bid is successful, LCLT’s will support the set-up of the new organisation and guide it through the funding and project delivery phases and ensure it is ready to successfully manage the building once refurbished.

LCLT is now looking for people interested in being involved in and contributing to a voluntary group that would become the new organisation.

Those with skills and experience in building/refurbishment, contract management, accountancy/finance, property management, retail, business planning or volunteer management, will be particularly welcome.

Contact the town clerk on 01472 851679 or hs.pitman@tiscali.co.uk