June 23, 2022 2.08 pm

Major refurb approved for historic Lincoln building

Greyfriars has been empty for 20 years

Plans to transform an iconic Lincoln building into a visitor attraction are set to be approved next week.

The City of Lincoln Council wants to turn the Greyfriars building on Broadgate into a café and a heritage space after 20 years of standing empty.

The authority’s planning committee on Wednesday will be asked to examine the plans and approve them.

Greyfriars could reopen as a cafe and education space | Credit: 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 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.

| Photo: City of Lincoln Council

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.

A report by officers said the proposal was timely due to the building exhibiting an acceleration of decay for a variety of reasons.

“The contemporary architectural additions to facilitate the new uses also resolve existing poor-quality elements and are a thoughtful and positive addition to the ongoing evolution of the building,” said the report.

“The new uses will reinvigorate this important building with minimal harm. These less than substantial levels of harm are outweighed by the myriad public benefits identified in this report.

“The aesthetic improvements to the appearance of the building will not only enhance the significance of Greyfriars, but also the significance of the adjacent listed buildings by improving their setting, and the character and appearance of the conservation area.”