November 28, 2014 10.33 am This story is over 113 months old

RW Stokes win bid to revamp The Lawn in Lincoln

New owners: Stokes has won the bid to take The Lawn off the city council, turning it into a cafe, restaurant, and operational building.

RW Stokes and Sons Ltd, the owners of Stokes Coffee and High Bridge Cafe in Lincoln, are the preferred bidder for the sale of The Lawn in uphill Lincoln.

The City of Lincoln Council put the Grade II listed building on Union Road up for sale earlier this year, as maintenance was proving costly at a time when the City Council needs to make savings.

Three bidders were selected after the initial selection process, and then presented their proposals; Stokes was chosen by the City Council in a private session of the Executive Committee on Monday night.

The company will make The Lawn an operational outlet for Stokes Tea and Coffee, with a roastery, café, barista training and wholesale sales.

Additionally, they will create a high quality restaurant with new car parking spaces on the upper part of the west lawn.

The value of the deal was undisclosed.

The council believe Stokes has an innovative approach that could turn The Lawn complex into a visitor and tourist attraction.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, leader of the council, said: “Stokes is a long established business and this move will see it flourish. One of our priorities is to grow the local economy and this deal will add significantly to the offer already available in uphill Lincoln.

“The council could not afford to put the investment needed into The Lawn when we are facing the tough task of balancing our books. Stokes’ proposal to establish their business there, including a coffee museum and high end restaurant will ensure the future life of the building.”

Nick Peel, Managing Director of RW Stokes and sons Ltd, added: “Stokes are delighted to have won the bid to purchase The Lawn complex.

“This gives us the opportunity to expand our existing tea and coffee business by offering a new concept of micro-roastery and training centre open to the public along with industry professionals, thus creating many more jobs.

“Working with our agents Banks Long we will also be transforming other areas of the complex to create an artistic hub promoting established artists and local businesses along with retail shops, a café and an exciting new restaurant. We will be providing much-needed additional car parking for the city enabling us to ensure that The Lawn remains a space for locals and tourists alike.”

The Lawn site totals around 1.62 hectares, and includes three main buildings: the main Lawn complex, the conservatory and Charlotte House, as well as the south lawn and car parking.