April 11, 2019 4.18 pm This story is over 36 months old

Bid to restore historic shop in hope to fill it

It’s stood empty since 2012

A prominent Boston Market Place shop which has sat empty for seven years is to be returned to its former glory in a bid to fill it.

The former Millets store, which sits at the entrance from the Market Place on to Dolphin Lane, has only seen use as a display centre since the company left the town in February, 2012.

Now, J&C Property Management Services have applied to Boston Borough Council for planning permission and listed building consent to replace the shop front as part of a series of works to the Grade II Listed Building.

In document submitted to the authority, they say: “it is imperative that such buildings are suitably occupied and maintained.”

The designs are based on historical photographs which have been submitted as part of the application.

“The owner applicant of the empty building has committed to an extensive programme of alteration and refurbishment in order to create a mixed use building that will be fully occupied and make a positive contribution to the town centre both economically and socially,” say the reports.

The plans are based on historic photographs supplied to the council, which the applicant say present an “exciting opportunity to dramatically restore the original character of the building”.

“This area of Boston town centre is established commercial comprising shops, offices, leisure, entertainment and residential uses,” they say.

The designs are based on historical photographs which have been submitted as part of the application.

“Mid 18th Century and late 19th Century buildings generally maintain a shop front presentation to the Market Place and the Local Authority are rightly keen to preserve this historic character.

“Dolphin Lane is a distinctive secondary shopping pedestrian amenity and [the building] provides an important active frontage at its junction with the Market Place.”

The former Millets store ceased operation after its parent company Blacks was bought out by JD Sports Fashion.

An artist’s impression of how the shop front could look.

It was one of around 90 Millets and Blacks stores, which were seen to be under-performing, to close around the UK following the deal.

It has since been mostly used for promoting local events, but, along with other empty shops, has been subject to local criticism for its appearance and effect on the aesthetic of the Market Place and Boston Town Centre.

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.