Police are treating as arson a fire that damaged the iconic Bass Maltings in Sleaford.
The derelict Sleaford Bass Maltings on Mareham Lane were alight on July 20, with fire crews attending the blaze from around 7.30pm.
Fire crews from Lincoln, Sleaford, Billinghay, Brant Broughton, Billingborough, Metheringham and Donington, plus help from Command Support Unit from Market Rasen, were present at the site until the early hours on July 21.
After overnight investigations, Fire and Rescue found severe fire damage to plastic rubbish inside the Maltings, believed to be set alight deliberately.
There was severe fire, smoke and water damage to other areas of the five-storey building.
The Maltings were built by Bass Breweries in the 20th century, one of the biggest of their kind.
It was where cereal grain was converted into malt by being soaked in water to make it sprout but then being dried to stop further growth. This was then used in beer.
The Malting were open from 1905 until the 1960s, and remained derelict since.
However, as part of Sleaford’s overall regeneration, North Kesteven District Council had been planning to transform the site into a new quarter of the town, with new homes, businesses, a supermarket and new road.
North Kesteven District Council Chief Executive Ian Fytche said: “The District Council’s plans for the regeneration of The Maltings have been a long time coming.
“We have been working with partners and the site’s developer over the past few years to ensure this significant historic building is brought back into use.
“In June the council made the difficult decision to push ahead with its CPO powers to secure land required for a major link road in order to access the site of The Maltings, and a new supermarket.
“Last night’s unfortunate events highlights the fact that all partners now need to push plans forward to bring this building back into use.”