The restoration of Market Rasen’s Old Police Station passes a major milestone, with its listed building consent coming before West Lindsey District Council.
The project has rumbled on for years, but as yet, there is no end in sight.
The Old Police Station in Dear Street was still in use by officers up until the construction of the new police station behind Tesco in 2005.
Market Rasen Town Council bought the building that year for £268,000 with the help of a grant from the East Midlands Development Agency.
The council sought to restore the building to its former Edwardian glory, staging a series of meetings with the town’s heritage society and others about what to do with it. They see the Old Police Station becoming a major community asset based on its historical use.
To date, the magistrates retiring room has been transformed into offices used by the town council and Oasis Dental Care still resides in the building.
The dental centre is providing leasehold income to help fund the restoration project.
An arts group uses a back room, but the Edwardian courtroom still needs to be brought up to standard.
The listed building consent would allow the town council to replace the old carpet tiles and old carpet in the courtroom with oak flooring. The council also aims to convert one of the two toilets into a kitchenette.
Already, work has been carried out replacing old rainwater guttering for the chimney stacks and the inside of the building has been painted.
“It’s a very significant project,” said town councillor John Hadlow, who submitted the application for the town council in December last year.
“We have taken the advice of the WLDC conservation officer on everything we have done. We need to put down a new floor as the old one is not good. But we cannot do anything until we have got consent. We have the specifications lined up and the contracts lined up. But we cannot do anything. It’s a shame we don’t know how long it’s going to take for West Lindsey to make a decision,” he said.
The town council wants to see the restoration of the old Edwardian courtroom.
Proposed uses have included a community cinema, evening functions and weddings. There would also be displays relating to its law and order heritage.
“We’ll see how it goes. Everything (on future uses) is open for discussion,” Coun Hadlow said.
“Our plan is to restore it back to its former glory. All we want to do is move it forward. We have the money earmarked. All the projects have been fully discussed. We have the go-ahead from the town council,” he added.