Architects have revealed how Caistor’s derelict former Co-op store could be transformed into a thriving facility for the town - with a tourist information centre and exhibition space.
Heritage Lincolnshire and Hodson Architects revealed the designs to residents at a presentation in the town’s arts and heritage centre on Thursday evening (December 3).
The plans show how the ground floor of the listed building will have a retail unit and tourist information area, an exhibition space, and five units that can be used for either offices, retail or crafts.
The second floor will be a mix of flats, self catering apartments, and bed and breakfast rooms.
And the top floor will have more bed and breakfast rooms, flats, and space for general residential use.
Heritage Lincolnshire architecture and culture team leader Alison Berwick said: “All these things are identified in the Caistor development plan as things the town is aspiring to.”
Ms Berwick said a final report on the project - estimated to cost £2 million - will be presented to Caistor Town Council and Lincolnshire Co-op at the end of January.
This will include a recommendation for the next step - and funding options.
Officers from the Heritage Lottery Fund have already visited the site and Ms Berwick said they were ‘certainly interested in it’.
Ms Berwick said: “It’s very much the right time to move it forward.
“There are funding programmes out there.
“We want to do something for Caistor.
“It’s a large building and we want to make a positive change.”
Ms Berwick said the community had been extremely positive about the project but said they needed to know it could take some time before the work was complete.
She said: “These types of projects can take time and realistically it might be four years before it’s completed.”
The Co-op building has stood empty since the company moved into its purpose-built High Street premises in December 2010.
Back in the spring, two town businesses announced they were closing - both blaming a lack of trade.
And some residents blamed a lack of trade on the former Co-op building, which they described as ‘an eyesore’.