A semi-derelict building in Market Rasen’s high street has been brought back to life by an enterprising business partnership.
The former Kings Head pub, and more recently The Goldmine, had stood empty for almost eight years before Darren Lince and Sara Scott bought it at auction in 2014.
The grade II listed building, which dates back to 1781, has now been completely transformed and converted it into a suite of luxury offices.
“The Goldmine was a real eyesore in a prominent position on our High Street and a place where a lot of our town’s through traffic and passing trade stops,” said Ms Scott.
“It created the wrong impression for potential visitors.
“Market Rasen already has plenty of pubs and cafes, so we had to consider alternative uses that would make a contribution to local trade.”
The Queen Street premises was for a short time used as a retail space, but now it has been given a thoroughly modern makeover to create a new home for small businesses.
“We wanted it to be city standard - just because we are a small town it doesn’t need to be shut out,” added Ms Scott.
“It is a place small businesses can feel aspirational.”
There are eight offices in all, able to accommodate one person or half a dozen.
First to sign up for some of the office space was Nicholson Accountants, who will be open at 52 Queen Street from mid-June.
“It was a chance for us and we took it,” said Richard Hallsworth, Corporate Finance Partner at Nicholsons.
“At the moment we bring people in from Lincoln but now we have space to expand here, so there is the potential to recruit in Rasen.”
Within two days of releasing the offices for rent, there were further enquiries.
“There is definitely an appetite for the offices,” said Ms Scott,” and we are feeling really good about it.
Both Ms Scott and Mr Lince are local business people, who have previously played active roles in Market Rasen as part of the Portas Pilot project.
“Our time on the Town Team taught us a valuable lesson,” said Mr Lince.
“We learned that the future health of the High Street will depend on property being put to all kinds of business and community uses – not relying solely on the traditional retail model.
“We wanted to give local small businesses the option of five star luxury and great connectivity at affordable prices.”
The pair are keen to emphasise this is a private project and has not received any public funding.
Ms Scott said: “I enjoyed taking part in the MR BIG initiative, but it was time for me to put my own money where my mouth is and drive direct action through a more focused, commercial project.
“As a small business owner myself, I know the benefit of being on the High Street.
“Here in town I enjoy super-fast broadband and a professional environment that is on a par with any business development in any of our major cities.”
The King’s Office Suites will be open from the end of this month.
More details on what is on offer can be found at: www.kingsoffices.co.uk