New life for historic Boston High Street building
ONE of Boston’s most historic buildings is about to begin a new and useful life after being saved from destruction.
The house at 116 High Street has been sold to the Lincolnshire Community Foundation by the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire.
It will now become a community hub and training centre and offer opportunities for new businesses to start up and provide a home for local charities, social enterprises and community groups, including Boston BIG Local.
Lincolnshire Community Foundation is a grant-making trust, making grants to small not-for-profit groups and individuals across the county. Its aim is to improve the lives and wellbeing of people living in Lincolnshire.
Liz Bates, from the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire, said: “It has taken a long time to get where we are today – 116 High Street has been the longest-running Heritage Lottery project – and we are very grateful for all those who have taken part in its preservation.
“We are delighted that the Community Foundation are now taking forward their plans to make use of this important historic building and we wish them every success with their venture.”
Two open days have been organised for September.
The building will be open for tours on Friday, September 13, as part of the countywide Heritage Open Days – contact the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire to book.
The foundation will hold its launch event the following day, Saturday, September 14. This event, from noon to 5pm, is free and open to all.
The Victorian-themed event will be opened by the Mayor of Boston Paul Kenny. It will see the launch of the “Boston Fund”. The foundation can add 75p for every pound raised.
It will be a fun-filled afternoon for both young and old, with ice cream from Dennett’s of Spilsby, cakes from the Chocolate Fairy, Punch and Judy shows, music from a Victorian barrel organ and magic performed by the walkabout Victorian Magician.
The grade II listed property was built for William Garfit II, in about 1728, and was Boston’s first bank, but it had remained disused and falling into dereliction since the 1970s. It had reached the end of its life because the cost of conserving it was more than its value.
Boston Borough Council forced through compulsory purchase of the building to save it.
The council’s head of planning and strategy Steve Lumb ensured that the building passed to the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire, whose track record for successfully rescuing and restoring such buildings is second to none.
Repairs and renovation were completed last year with more than £2 million of assistance from English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lincolnshire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and John Paul Getty Trust.
Anyone interested in learning more about opportunities at 116 High Street should contact the Lincolnshire Community Foundation on 01529 305825 or 01529 307749 or email Gordon Hunter at email@example.com or James Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.