Architects have revealed plans for how a derelict former supermarket could be transformed into a “vibrant” town facility that would attract tourists.
Heritage Lincolnshire appointed architects to come up with various potential future uses for the former Lincolnshire Co-op listed building in Caistor Market Place.
The plans, revealed at the town’s arts and heritage centre on November 4, could see the building used for retail and homes, retail and crafts, a boutique hotel, tourist information centre or an area to display local artefacts.
One option included opening up a courtyard area in the centre of the building, which proved to be popular among residents.
But Heritage Lincolnshire chief executive officer Liz Bates has warned any development would not be an easy task.
Speaking after the event, Ms Bates said: “Following a workshop we had in October it came across very strongly that the community wanted it to be a very active and vibrant frontage for the Market Place.
“We looked at quite broad options to give people an idea of what might work.
“There is the option to create access from the High Street and Market Place and open the courtyard area in the centre.
“Lots of people who came really liked that idea.
“They thought it would be putting it back to how it was previously, which was viewed to be quite positive.”
“It was thought that would bring people into Caistor, encouraging more of a tourism market in Caistor.”
Ms Bates said the project was taking steps forward despite it not being a ‘simple’ task.
She said: “We will try and unlock some of the issues and come up with a viable scheme that will work there.
“I do feel like we’re taking steps forward all the time.
“It’s not going to be an easy thing.
“We never go in thinking it’s going to be simple because someone else would have already done it.”
The CEO said the next step would be to consider all of the public feedback and then consult with the architect about a final design.
She added that funding options would be explored before a recommendation is made to the Co-op and Caistor Town Council.
Ms Bates said: “We’re now going to talk to the architect and come up with a final scheme to design and cost up so we know exactly what costs the involved will be.
“It may be that it can be developed commercially.
“We’re doing market research and still consulting with the town council and Co-op.”
About 35 people attended the drop-in session at the arts and heritage centre, which Ms Bates said she was “really pleased” about.
She said: “We were really pleased with that.
“We really enjoyed the event and speaking to people interested.
“It’s always really important to us to get that local knowledge.
“We were really grateful for the number of people who came along.
“It’s a massive help to the project.”
The next event will be held at the arts and heritage centre on December 3 at 7pm.
This will see architects present their final designs, however the plans will still be open to comments.
Heritage Lincolnshire would like to hear from any developers interested in the project.
Call 01529 461 499.