Work has started to restore historic elements of Gainsborough town centre after a grant was given to the council.
West Lindsey District Council was awarded £1.25 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which will go towards the restoration.
The project, known as The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) will focus on the renewal of historic buildings and other heritage elements within Gainsborough town centre, in Lord Street and Market Place.
The fund will be invested in the improvement of the condition of buildings within the town centre.
Activities co-ordinator for the project, Theresa Workman said: “The Townscape Heritage Initiative is a lottery-funded scheme, which is to help towns upgrade areas that have fallen into disrepair and that need a little bit of an economic boost.”
“The idea is you make the place more welcoming; the buildings work better for the shopkeepers and the tenants that are using them, and the whole area starts to pick up, which is what the council want for the Market Place and Lord Street.”
Theresa Workman, activities co-ordinator for the project.
Photo Credit: West Lindsey District Council
There will also be an activity programme within the initiative which will aim to educate the community about historic Gainsborough.
“We want to have some really nice, interactive, family fun type events to get people along to the town centre and to bring it back to life by actually having things happening out on the street where the project is based.”
Ms Workman said they will be doing activities with schools to encourage students to engage with the town, and they will work with the construction students at Gainsborough and Lincoln College.
She said: “This is going to create a whole generation of new tradesmen and women, who understand how to love and look after an old building properly.”
They are also currently looking for volunteers to be involved with the project.
Ms Workman said: “We are looking for volunteers at the moment who would be interested in helping with the research and later on we will be asking for volunteers to give oral history interviews.
“This will be older members of the community who have got interesting memories of what it was like in the marketplace and Lord Street when the town was busier in those areas.”
Having previously worked at Gainsborough Old Hall, Ms Workman said she felt “over the moon” for the council when she heard they received the grant and felt “honoured” when they selected her to be part of the project.
Ms Workman feels optimistic about the outcomes of the project.
She said: “My vision in the long-term is that there will be a vibrant day-time and night-time café culture with outside seating and nice landscaping where people spend time.
“Eventually that should radiate out, so we are getting tourism visits from other areas, where people have heard about how nice Gainsborough is for a day out.”
According to Ms Workman, the scheme is set to finish in September 2024 but due to the current circumstances surrounding covid “there is a possibility that it will be extended a bit further.”
Ms Workman confirmed that work has started at some buildings which include the Black Bull Yard in Lord Street, and the number 5-7 property in the Market Place.