September 25, 2018 1.19 pm This story is over 66 months old

£400,000 spend to save Gainsborough building deferred

Councillors aren’t convinced yet

A decision on whether to spend almost £400,000 to save a Gainsborough building has been delayed after councillors asked for more information.

West Lindsey District Councillors were asked on Thursday, to approve a £387,300 spend to repair and convert 5-7 Market Place into three flats and a ground floor shop.

The plan was then to sell the flats and rent out the business at market rates, with a predicted return of £55,727 over 20 years – if the council can get grant funding from Heritage Lottery alongside.

A report before councillors warned that if the building was not renovated it could ‘fall into further disrepair’ and cause harm to the historic market place.

It also said failure to renovate the building could threaten future grant opportunities including a potential £1.8m from Heritage Lottery Fund.

However, a spokesman for the authority said following the meeting: “West Lindsey District Council has agreed to defer the discussion on 5-7 Market Place, which will be brought to a future meeting.”

They said the decision was made by councillors ‘to allow them to gather further information’.

The report before councillors said that if the flats didn’t sell, they could be rented out with an annual income of around £6,300.

The property was bought by WLDC in 2013 for £172,000.

It currently costs £400 a year in maintenance costs, plus any urgent repairs.

The report says a £19,000 spend is already needed for structural repairs to make the building safe.

The officer’s report says the property has been on the market for two years at £175,000, however, the most recent offer was £50,000 minus the structural works needed.

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.