August 12, 2022 4.01 pm This story is over 22 months old

Man who worked for Gordon Ramsey opening high-end restaurant in Grantham

He also worked with Marcus Wearing

A new high-end restaurant is set to open in Grantham following restoration and repair of the town’s historic Grade II listed Westgate Hall.

The vital work is being made possible with a £300,000 grant made through the Grantham High Street Heritage Action Zone programme, funded by Historic England and South Kesteven District Council.

The grant will provide for urgent repairs and necessary improvements to bring the former corn exchange, which dates from 1852, back into use.

The remaining repair costs will be funded by the property owner, while the new tenant will support financing new décor, fixtures and fittings.

Restaurateur Ade Adeshina, who has previously worked for top chefs including Gordon Ramsey and Marcus Wearing, is behind the project.

He hopes to create a new destination eatery along the lines of his successful fine dining restaurant The Chubby Castor, near Peterborough.

His current venture has already been recommended in the prestigious Michelin Guide and has received two AA Rosettes.

The 70-seater restaurant will include a large private dining room, cocktail bar, lounge and open kitchens. It is being designed to be respectful of the historic building, with minimal alterations.

It is expected the business, once fully open, will create 30 jobs and act as a “destination venue” for Grantham, attracting people to the area, supporting the visitor economy and enhancing and diversifying the evening and night-time economy of the town centre.

The interior of Westgate Hall as it is transformed into the new restaurant. | Photo: South Kesteven District Council

SKDC Leader of the Council Cllr Kelham Cooke said: “Preserving historic buildings is vital to understanding South Kesteven’s heritage.

In addition, it is an environmentally responsible practice.

“Westgate Hall is of both architectural and historical interest, which regrettably has deteriorated over the years.

“We are fortunate to be in a position to help support the preservation of this landmark building.

“We have been in long conversations with the owner and know the new tenant is prepared to invest in this venue, which will undergo work from later this year for opening in the first part of 2024.

“It was recognised the building in its current condition was an eyesore in that part of the town, with a disproportionately negative impact on Grantham.

Westgate as it appeared in 1906. Westgate Hall was built in 1852 as a corn exchange. | Photo: South Kesteven District Council

“Restoration of this building will act as a catalyst for regeneration in the area.

“South Kesteven District Council has a vision to be the best district in which to live, work and visit and as we deliver on those priorities, residents and businesses can expect to benefit from continued growth.

“Once lost, our District’s heritage is impossible to replace, so we take seriously our responsibility to preserve and enhance what we have here.”

Chef Ade Adeshina said: “It has always been my plan to open a second restaurant and we spotted Westgate Hall almost by accident when we decided to drive into the town centre one day – and thought what a terrific building it is and such a shame that it wasn’t being put to good use.

“I am originally from East London and it’s easy to draw similarities between the regeneration of that part of the capital to what is now happening in Grantham.

“The regeneration of Westgate Hall will be at the forefront of that investment in the town, and I am excited about our plans.”

The grant support is for a maximum £300,000 and will fund structural work, repairs to floors and ceilings, masonry renovation and safety work, including making the building watertight and reinstating the majestic octagonal skylight windows to their former glory, having been boarded up and painted over by a previous tenant.

The grant will cover a maximum of 80% of the costs, with remaining costs funded by the property owner.

Westgate Hall, where the new restaurant will sit 70 people. | Photo: South Kesteven District Council

Wider regeneration in the area includes the ongoing High Street Heritage Action Zone Shop Front Regeneration programme, and an updated Market Place as part of a separate £5,556,042 project funded by a Future High Street Fund Government grant.