THI acts as ‘beacon of light’ for developers in the town centre

Collage of three properties in Gainsborough, the middle image has scaffolding to show work in progress

Property owners in Gainsborough are celebrating the successful restoration of vital buildings thanks to ‘invaluable’ funding that make the endeavours possible.

The restoration work which is breathing new life in to Gainsborough town centre would not have been achievable without financial support.

West Lindsey District Council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme (THI) is not only preserving the architectural heritage of the town, including listed Georgian buildings, but is revitalising the community. The THI funding is backed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Levelling Up Fund.

One of the premises benefitting from funding is 37 Lord Street, familiar to most now as Café Latte. The Grade II listed building dates back to the early 19th century and is owned by Justin Leckie. Justin has been working with architect Eleanor McEvedy, who has previously worked on 27-29 Lord Street under the THI scheme.

Justin said: 

“The support received from West Lindsey District Council has allowed Café Latte, to return to its former glory and bring the building back to its best. The generous THI grant has allowed us to replace the outdated shop front with one which is much more in keeping with the listed Georgian property. In addition, work has taken place on the upper floor windows, the cast iron and lead water gutters as well as on repairing the brickwork on the gable end.”

He added: 

“Without the support of the Council I would not have been able to protect the heritage of the building or play a role in helping to stimulate the regeneration of the street as a whole.”

The schedule of works is expected to last eight weeks, with the final element - the fitting of a traditional canvas awning – due to take place later this month.

As previously reported, the funding offers substantial grant aid towards the costs of renovating buildings, in a bid to bring empty properties back into use and maximising the potential for them to be used today.

3 Lord Street (now the Clock House) is also benefitting from the scheme. The building had been a school room in 1845, with the joiner Tom Lambert having a shop there at a similar time. 

Owner Sunil Bejugam who also owns properties along 1-5 Lord Street said the THI funding had proven ‘invaluable’.

He said: 

“As a property investor in Gainsborough, my journey with 1, 3, 5 Lord Street has been a transformative one, made possible through the invaluable support of the Townscape Heritage Grant offered by West Lindsey District Council.

“The grant served as a beacon of hope, enabling me to envision and execute a comprehensive external renovation plan for the properties. The project included fundamental upgrades such as replacing outdated windows with elegant sash windows, refreshing the roof tiles, restoring two iconic chimneys, updating entrance doors, and enhancing business signage.”

THI scheme funding is also helping 24 Market Street, which has been owned by the Hexadex company since 1999, acting as the headquarters for what is now a global engineering business.

Michael Pearson, Group Health, Safety and Environmental Manager for Hexadex Ltd, says being involved in the project has been invaluable. He said: 

“The Heritage Funding has been very important in allowing us to ensure the building is preserved in an historically sympathetic manner, especially with its position being so prominent on the main route through the town.”

The work being undertaken includes, removing old /incorrect mortar, cleaning and repointing of the parapet and string course repairs. The sash windows are also being refurbished, including repainting on the Beaumont Street and Market Street facades. 

Michael added: 

“Another aspect of the funding, which has been invaluable, is the contact we have been able to make with the selected heritage contractor, for other work we are looking to have undertaken on the non-street facing facades and interior of the building. Historically, we have found these skills and knowledge almost impossible to access.”

Member Champion for Heritage and Tourism, Cllr Paul Howitt-Cowan, said: 

“The aim of the Townscape Heritage Initiative is to restore the historic buildings within Gainsborough’s town centre, so I am delighted to see the range of development work being carried out. 

“The funding, which is backed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Levelling Up Fund, supports the council’s wider vision to create a resilient and diverse rural district, which embraces sustainable growth whilst retaining its quality, heritage and character for the benefit of all.”

Find out more about our Gainsborough Heritage-led Regeneration here Gainsborough Heritage-led Regeneration 

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit our council news pages

Follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter), find us on Facebook, or sign up to our newsletter