Tea and coffee brand Stokes has started work to convert 19th century The Lawn building in Lincoln into a £2 million head office including cafe, roasters and shops.
The Lawn, which was a former ‘lunatic asylum’ off Union Road, will be turned into a key development for RW Stokes and Sons, which completed the sale of the site from City of Lincoln Council in August.
The site will feature a new café, coffee roastery, restaurant, offices, shops, a barista training centre and a theatre, as well as serving as the new headquarters for the Lincoln based company.
Stage one of the building work started on Monday, December 19 and local Lincoln company G Lidgett Builders LTD, have been appointed to complete the first stage of internal works.
This follows the recent completion of the car park at the site, which has created an additional 110 spaces.
Nick Peel, managing director of Stokes Tea & Coffee said: “It is very important to me that we use local companies wherever possible to convert The Lawn.
“It is a very important building and Stokes’ historical links with the city mean that using companies who are also embedded in Lincoln is a priority.”
The early 19th century asylum, which opened nearly 200 years ago, is a Grade II Listed building retaining many original features both internal and external, which will need to be preserved during the transformation.
The Lincolnite took a tour of the building ahead of transformation works in October:
Grayham Lidgett, company director of G Lidgett Builders said: “We are thoroughly delighted to have been awarded the contract from Stokes to be part of The Lawn renovation.
“Being a local family run business ourselves, established for over 18 years, it’s fantastic to be involved in supporting similar local businesses. It’s very exciting to watch Stokes take on this project to bring this prestigious building back to life.”
Completion of phase one, expected by Easter, will see the move of the new Stokes head office as well as the coffee roastery.
The opening of Stokes’ third café in Lincoln will happen next, which will feature a specially designed viewing gallery to allow the public to watch the process of producing coffee, and learn more about the history of the business, as well as providing new office space for companies looking for a base in the city.
Peter Banks, consultant at Banks Long & Co, who is the property agent working with the Lawn, said: “The city council recognise the potential of The Lawn and have trusted Stokes to work with them to introduce sustainable businesses in a way that will complement the existing uphill tourist area.
“In the New Year, we will be offering a range of restaurant, retail and office opportunities in space surplus to Stokes’ requirements, to tenants interested in working alongside Stokes in this unique parkland setting.”