May 3, 2022 1.30 pm

Historic Lincoln building set to get new life nearly 20 years after closing

The building dates back to 1230 but is now ‘at risk’

By Local Democracy Reporter

An iconic building in the heart of Lincoln could be transformed into a visitor attraction after 20 years of standing empty.

The Greyfriars building would become a café and a heritage space under refurbished plans submitted by City of Lincoln Council.

The plans also include a two-storey extension for a platform life and stairs, which would enable people to access a multi-use education space on the first floor.

The original western entrance would be re-instated, and the Victoria extension  would be demolished.

The building, which dates back to the 1200s, has been at risk for several years now and is considered ‘at risk’ and needs immediate attention.

Funding has been provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help secure its future.

It has been nearly 20 years since the public were last able to admire the building’s historic vaults.

It  has been uses as a friary, a wool factory, a mechanics’ institute and a museum over the years. It most recently closed in 2004 due to the lack of visitors.

Greyfriars is ‘at risk’ due to its long period standing empty | Photo: City of Lincoln

Drawings submitted with the plans show the majority of the ground-floor being occupied by the café/restaurant, with the main entrance to the west from Free School Lane.

The application states: “The City of Lincoln Council, working in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire, have joined together to help find new and exciting uses for Greyfriars, with a comprehensive program of conservation and refurbishment.

“The building has been vacant for several years now and is noted as being ‘at risk’, requiring immediate attention. Initial development funding has been awarded to the Council from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“The overall vision is to create a sustainable and viable multi-use venue that includes a café, a flexible event space and a heritage interpretation area to help contribute to the economic health of the surrounding area, whilst saving an important part of Lincoln’s rich heritage.

“The scheme will include the repair and conservation of Greyfriars, and is designed to enhance the building and its setting, and to provide the community with a mix of uses that complement the existing offer of Lincoln.”

The refurbishment would aim to conserve as much as possible from the original building.