Dreary Cornhill to undergo revamp

Plans have been announced for a £50,000 revamp of Lincoln’s Cornhill. Work on the ‘cobbled’ part of area should last from September 5 to October 14.

The Cornhill is one of the city’s historic public squares and is owned by the City of Lincoln Council, which leases it to Lincoln Big for activities and events.

Matt Corrigan, Lincoln Big chief executive, said: “[The cobbles] were introduced in the 1960s and are not of a local material.

“By repaving in smooth materials to match those nearby, we hope to create a more unified space that is more inviting for people to walk across and better suited to a wider range of events.”

The electrical system in the square will be replaced with “pop up” power supplies in order to better accommodate the city’s civic Christmas tree. The outer two of the four benches will also be moved near the kiosk to back onto the inner two.

“Working closely with the City of Lincoln Council, we have been able to negotiate grants and contributions that have covered the cost of the works and generated the improvement, without directly calling on a contribution from our levy payers’ funds,” Corrigan explained.

The project has been grant-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

City Councillor Neil Murray said: “Repaving the Cornhill is a key part of developing the city centre, making it a more attractive space for public use, much like City Square around the corner.

“It’s great news that we’ve helped to secure external funding for the work, which means it can be completed in preparation for the proposed Lindongate development, with no cost to Lincoln taxpayers.”

Long-term plans

As long-term ideas, plans drawn up by Lincoln-based regeneration consultants Globe are considering removing the kiosk at the front of the square.

“Although this building looks historic, it was actually built in the 1970s,” Corrigan explained. Whilst not unattractive in its own right, it blocks off the square and views of the Corn Exchange building from the High St. It is also not ideally suited for its current uses.”

Ursula Lidbetter, Lincoln BIG chairman and Lincolnshire Co-operative Chief Executive, endorsed the alternative plans for the square:

“We appreciate that the [City] Council will be unlikely to make decision on this quickly in the current financial climate, and that it is sensitive in respect of commercial leases, but that by offering some ideas we can promote a dialogue about alternative ways to use the space – not only in terms of income generation but also in its role as a public space at the heart of the city.”