West Lindsey District Council was delighted to welcome officials from the UK’s The National Lottery Heritage Fund to see first hand the work taking place.
As previously reported, after a successful bid, we were awarded £1.25m to repair, restore and regenerate the buildings in Gainsborough as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). The National Lottery Heritage Fund award for historic building repair grants was later supplemented significantly by a large additional award from the Levelling Up Fund.
Jonathan Lee, an experienced Townscape Heritage Officer at the Council, is leading the project. He took visitors on a tour, stopping off at the first property to be awarded grant funding and talked about the challenges and opportunities they faced. He said:
“It is important that we maintain these great relationships with The National Lottery Heritage Fund team. By giving them the chance to have a tour around the town gives us the opportunity to showcase our plans and show how much of a difference the grants will make and have already made.”
The THI aims to reverse the decline of the town by offering substantial grants towards the costs to renovate the buildings, bringing empty properties back into use and maximising the potential for them to be used today.
Andy Hurley was the first property owner to be awarded grant funding for his premises at 27-29 Lord Street which has seen comprehensive repairs to sash windows, brick and stonework, rainwater goods and two traditional shopfronts. He has already converted the derelict property next door into three shops housing fantastic independent local businesses, all of which draw unique new visitors into the town. Andy has been showcasing his progress online for people to watch as the changes happen. He said:
“The shop fronts are looking amazing and we are in talks with a couple of prospective tenants. I can't thank everyone who has been involved enough.”
Sally Grindrod-Smith, Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities at West Lindsey District Council said:
“Restoring the heritage of our town centre is a key pillar of our £18m Levelling Up Thriving Gainsborough programme. It’s incredibly exciting to be able to see progress on the ground. We know from our wide ranging activities programme that the heritage of our town is something that our community is rightly incredibly proud of.
“I’m also grateful to National Lottery players for their contribution to the project, without whom, awards from The National Lotter Heritage Fund would not be made possible.”
The team has been engaging with property owners about their buildings within the conservation area as well as raising awareness of the history of the town in a range of community engagement activities.
The team was able to showcase the community engagement events which have taken place so far including:
- The Great Gainsborough Treasure Hunt, where over 9000 booklets were collected
- A Walk Through Time heritage trail booklet which guides people on a 90-minute walk through the history of the town
- The Big Draw which saw 150 residents take part and create lanterns in a free workshop to bring along to our Illuminate parade this month
For further information on the initiative please visit or follow us on twitter @InvestGainsboro, visit Gainsborough Heritage's Townscape Heritage Initiative webpage or email: Jonathan.Lee@west-lindsey.gov.uk or Katherine.Stanley@west-lindsey.gov.uk