Big unveiling of plans for derelict Co-op

Caistor Co-op meeting EMN-151130-102804001
Caistor Co-op meeting EMN-151130-102804001

After years of waiting, residents in Caistor will tonight (Thursday December 3) see the final proposal unveiled for how the town’s derelict former Co-op store could be transformed.

Heritage Lincolnshire and Hodson Architects have organised a presentation on the proposed design scheme at Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre at 7pm.

The two organisations have been working together to come up with a plan former Lincolnshire Co-op listed building in Caistor Market Place.

At the event tomorrow, architects will talk residents through the proposal.

And they will show the community how the plans have been shaped by residents’ comments and suggestions at public workshops and drop in events.

Initial ideas included using the building for retail and homes, retail and crafts, a boutique hotel, tourist information centre or an area to display local artefacts.

And one option included opening up a courtyard area in the centre of the building.

But in an interview with the Rasen Mail last month, Heritage Lincolnshire chief executive officer Liz Bates warned any development would not be an easy task.

She told the Mail: “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 Co-0p 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”.

Tomorrow evening’s presentation will also give residents information about what will happen next.