Plans to transform Caistor’s town centre received a welcome boost when an expert from the Government’s High Streets Task Force delivered a workshop with senior council, business and community leaders last month.
Following the visit, the High Streets Task Force has submitted a report to help inform plans for regeneration and support the local community to address the issues that are blocking change in the town.
Joe Barratt, appointed Expert from the High Streets Task Force, was joined by senior representatives from the local authority, including the Leader of West Lindsey District Council, alongside business and community leaders, which included representatives from Caistor Community Trust, Lincolnshire Co-Op, GO2 Environmental Group, Rock Foundation, Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre and Caistor Town Council. Cllr Bierley said:
“As Leader of West Lindsey District Council I very much welcome the support package from the High Street Task Force and was delighted to take part in the workshop last month. I was particularly pleased to see the range of stakeholders present and to be reminded of the proactive and collaborative work that is already underway in Caistor.
“We know that Caistor’s heritage, location and community make it a very special place and it is great to see this recognised by the appointed expert too and that the plans for 2-4 Market Place and associated place making are being widely acknowledged as positive progress for Caistor.
“My thanks go to everyone that contributed to the event and I look forward to continuing to participate in the town’s transformation.”
The report acknowledged Caistor’s many strengths and recommended creating a better space for socialising and events in the Market Place. Joe Barratt said:
“Despite being one of the smallest locations we have visited, I believe that many of the UK’s biggest towns and cities could learn a lot from the pro-active place leadership work that is being delivered in Caistor.
“I was particularly impressed by the plans to bring 2-4 Market Place back to life with new retail, holiday rental and community spaces, and encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to contribute to the Community Shares fundraiser that is currently ongoing. The vision for bringing these three units back into use would be truly transformational.”
Caistor Town Councillor, Cllr Steve Critten said:
“We look forward to working with The Task Force as they continue to work with the town through the coming months, providing a range of services to support the town’s transformation.”
The visit and expert’s report are part of a package of support that Caistor will continue to receive after it was selected by Government in February as one of a second group of 68 places to work directly with the High Streets Task Force.
To date, over £2m has been committed from various funding partners to achieve the vision for 2-4 Market Place, with a remaining £350,000 still needing to be sourced in Community Shares.
For more information on the 2-4 Market Place project, please visit the Caistor and Community District Fund website and to learn more about the High Street Task Force please visit their website.