Chartered Surveyors Banks Long & Co have revealed that one of Lincoln’s most distinctive institutional buildings is to become home to the city’s Diocesan team.
The Mount on Wragby Road – which has most recently been used as a convent for a small community of Roman Catholic nuns – has been sold to The Diocesan Board of Finance.
The sale will allow the Sisters to relocate into new premises that are better suited to their current needs.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
The Board is now planning to invest further in the complex of buildings, in a conversion which will create a new base for the Diocesan offices and the office of the Bishop of Lincoln.
It is hoped the new offices will be open in early 2016.
The cost of the property is being funded from the assets of the Diocese and will not affect the Parish Share.
It is understood that moving office staff will allow the Old Palace Hotel to realise its full benefit as a commercial enterprise, further supporting the work of the Diocese through its success.
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson said: “The Diocese of Lincoln is in a very exciting and challenging period of change.
“My vision is to build a healthy, vibrant, active and sustainable church across Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
“A huge amount of work is done from the Diocese’s central offices to support parishes to achieve their potential. We need to ensure that that work can be supported efficiently and effectively.
“The new offices will provide the opportunity to work more cohesively. Practically, they have huge benefits over the current premises – not least sufficient car parking.”
Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance Chair, Trevor Bush, said a sub-committee of the Board had been looking at options for a new premises for some time and added that it is clear that the Old Palace can offer the Diocese a very healthy income as a hotel.
“The new Diocesan Offices represent an excellent investment in a prime uphill Lincoln location, which provides much better access for visitors, space to offer hospitality to Diocesan groups and retains the important close connection with Lincoln Cathedral,” he said.
The complex includes the main convent building, a separate Lodge and stable block and a glass corridor – formerly linking the Convent with the adjacent school.
Banks Long & Co Director James Butcher said: “The Mount is made up of a range of buildings that, for many years, were used as a Convent for the Sisters of Providence Ruille sur Loir.
“The Sisters also ran the adjacent school until it was taken over by a Parent Trust in 1983 and more recently by the Minster School in the mid-1990s.”
“The Mount is an attractive range of buildings and located in a prime area of uphill Lincoln and within an upmarket residential area.
“We were therefore not surprised by the level of interest that the property generated through the marketing, but we are delighted that we have been able to conclude a sale to the Diocese of Lincoln,” said Mr Butcher.