The Market Place has been the heart of commercial life in Caistor, Lincolnshire for centuries. Sadly, since 2010, two key buildings on one side of the Market Place in Caistor's superbly preserved historic town centre have been empty. Plans are finally getting closer to securing the future of the what are known as the old Co-op at 2-4 Market Place, Caistor. These plans include the complex of buildings backing on to High Street and the courtyard spaces in between.
A not for profit Community Benefit Society, Caistor and District Community Trust Ltd has been formed to help drive a project to regenerate these buildings. The Trust has been formed out of an ad-hoc steering group created earlier in 2018. The group has already engaged with local architect, Mark Hodson, to come up with suggestions for how 2-4 Market Place might be brought back use. The Trust will work with Lincolnshire Co-operative Society, Lincolnshire Heritage, funding groups, and other stake holders to bring this complex of buildings back to life.
Around 70 people attended the first public meeting of Caistor and District Community Trust on September 4th 2018. The discussion on potential uses for 2-4 Market Place that followed the presentations shows how passionate everyone is about getting these buildings back to life – and how important it is to the successful economic life of Caistor. The idea of the Community Benefit Society has been well received with new members joining everyday since we started accepting membership forms in October.
We have already had enquiries from a wide range potential business interested in basing themselves in Caistor’s historic Market Place. It is very encouraging to see so much interest in the buildings at this early stage - although announcing what the end uses will be is still quite a way off. In October Caistor and District Community Trust meet with Lincolnshire Co-op and Lincolnshire Heritage, to start preparations for the first major funding applications in 2019.