Caistor and District Community Trust are pleased to give an update further to the Town Council Meeting on 23rd November that followed the Public Meeting of the same date in the Methodist Hall. The Town Council did not vote to approve the Public Works Loan Board loan of £750,000, neither did they veto it but decided to continue with further reports etc. As mentioned by the Trust there was now some urgency to make a decision due to deadlines from other funders and retaining the contractors.
Without a firm decision either way, the Trust reported back to our other funders and after discussions with our business manager from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and our Business Support Manager from the DLUHC’s Community Ownership Fund, they have both advised that the Town Council’s delay in being able to make a decision puts the project at risk. We will also not now be able to meet the Community Ownership Fund’s original very tight delivery deadline. Both of these funding bodies have advised that the best option would be to seek alternative funding or re-apply for higher grants – with the understanding that this has increased risk of increased costs. There is also a risk of loss of the project if these funding applications are unsuccessful.
As the Trust mentioned at the Public Meeting, the funding landscape changes almost daily, and we have been able to identify potential funders to approach – at this stage with no guarantees. We are applying for a higher Community Ownership Fund grant in the new round of grant application opened in December. This leaves a smaller amount that can potentially be funded from a commercial loan through a social bank such as Triodos Bank or Charity Bank. These forms of lending were previously not open to the Trust as the borrowing requirement exceeded the maximums available to us.
Caistor and District Community Trust have formally informed Caistor Town Council it will no longer require them to proceed with the Public Works Loan Board loan. The Trust and Town Council are sure we can work together at local level in smooth partnership on this nationally supported development that is of significant regional importance, now the funding question has been removed.
We expect to hear the outcome of our new funding applications by mid-March 2024 and, assuming a positive outcome, hope an immediate start can be made on the renovations then.
Introducing our very own song dedicated to 2-4 Market Place, Caistor. Words and Music written by Helen Flunder. Performed by Helen Flunder and Brendan Perkins, who also both put the video together. Thanks to Alan Dennis for his support with archive visual material. Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Architectural for their support in making this musical interpretation of Caistor's Heritage possible.
See what people in Caistor think of our plans for 2-4 Market Place
2-4 Market Place had been a local food store for many years, including Spa, Costcutter and most recently the Lincolnshire Co-operative Ltd. It is still known to many as ‘The Old Co-op’. However, this complex set of five interlinked listed buildings was over three floors with numerous corridors and staircases, which were not a good fit for a modern food store.
When the Lincolnshire Co-operative Ltd relocated, the property was put up for sale, but there were many challenges for any new owner to finding a viable future use for the buildings. As time went on and the buildings remained vacant, the concern for their future and the impact they were having on the town and the community grew.
In 2016, discussions with the community and key stakeholders began. With the help of Heritage Lincolnshire, a local charity that supports our county’s heritage, a series of public consultation events were delivered and with the community’s help a vision for the buildings, with a broad mixed use, began to be formed.
This is a major capital project requiring £3.2 million, which Caistor and District Community Trust was able to announce it had raised earlier in 2023. Although it was expected to commence works in the later half of 2023, this is now likely to be early 2024.