Progress on Caistor buildings

The future of these Caistor buildings is up for discussion
The future of these Caistor buildings is up for discussion

The future of some of Caistor Market Place’s most prominent buildings looks bright following work by a dedicated group of volunteers.

The former Co-op store, which makes up almost a quarter of the market place buildings, has been empty since the company moved into its purpose-built High Street premises in December 2010.

Since then, the building has been a talking point of the town’s council and residents looking for action to be taken to bring the premises back in to use.

Now, progress is being made thanks to a steering group, whose mission it is to bring the building back to life.

A spokesman for the group said: “With the help of Heritage Lincolnshire, we have secured £11,100 of grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Architectural Heritage Fund towards professional support, training and guidance in order to develop a constituted, legal body who can take a large building project forward.”

The group is working in close partnership with the owners, Lincolnshire Cooperative, who are supporting the project with staff time and funding.

Most recently, the building has been re-decorated, making it a much more pleasing aspect of the market place.

The steering group has also met with Mark Hodson (architect) and other interested parties to discuss the use of the building and how it is divided up.

A statement on the group’s Facebook page, 2-4 Market Place, Caistor, read: “It is too early to be specific on how it is to be used but we feel positive about the future.”

Moving the project forward, the group hopes to call itself Caistor & District Community Trust Limited and is waiting for approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on its rules.

A full copy of these rules will be available once approval has been received.

As a community benefit society, the group plans to maintain or improve the physical, social and economic infrastructure within Caistor and District, as well as promoting and protecting local heritage.

It may also look at creating training and employment opportunities amongst other objectives, all of which will be carried on for the benefit of the community.

Community benefit societies are expected to have members who hold shares.

It is expected all shares in the society will be ordinary shares with a nominal value of one pound each and members of the society must have a minimum shareholding of five.

A public meeting is planned for September 4 in Caistor Town Hall, with more details available later this month.