A Tudor inn dating back to 1599 is being rescued from being “at risk” and given a new lease of life thanks to a Heritage Enterprise grant and an entrepreneurial local charity.
The Old King’s Head, in Kirton, is Grade II listed and considered to be a significant 16th century inn with a rich history and many stories to tell.
Currently standing vacant and in urgent need of repairs, a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of more than £2million will allow the building to be restored, brought back into use and provide jobs, trainee opportunities and a boost to local tourism.
Heritage Lincolnshire, a charity with an excellent track record in saving historic buildings for new uses, has received HLF support to secure the future of the building, which has now been purchased by the charity, and see it repaired, refurbished and revived as an artisan café and boutique bed and breakfast.
Heritage Lincolnshire also plans to explore how the building developed over the centuries.
This will involve volunteers, who will undertake a full assessment of the building fabric and documentary research and help to collect reminiscences and maybe even a few ghost stories. Heritage Lincolnshire will also look at the potential for a community archaeological dig to reveal evidence of the medieval settlement of the area and encourage residents to understand more of their local heritage and history.
Liz Bates, chief executive of Heritage Lincolnshire, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported this project.
“The Old King’s Head is a very important building that fell into disrepair and is now at risk from dereliction.
“We look forward to working with the local community, our volunteers and our project partners to ensure that all of the planning and fundraising for this exciting project is achieved over the next 12 months.”
Ben Greener, HLF’s historic environment policy advisor, said: “HLF introduced Heritage Enterprise to enable local people to save the buildings they love.
“But this funding was never about simply saving a building for the sake of it.
“By bringing much-loved but derelict buildings back into use as viable businesses, Heritage Enterprise projects provide an economic shot-in-the-arm for places which need it most.
“And this project is a great example of how HE investment transforms a potential eyesore into an economic asset – bringing jobs and investment to Kirton and beyond.”
Liz Bates added her thanks to all the project partners: “All of the project partners working together have helped to get us to this point.
“The Pilgrim Trust has supported us with a grant, and a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund has enabled us to purchase the building.
“We’ve also had a great deal of support from Boston Borough Council who are a key partner. And we’re looking forward to finding an additional partner to join the project as business operator.”
A wide range of projects across the UK have benefited from over £80 million of Heritage Enterprise funding since 2013, helping to create attractive, thriving spaces for business and enterprise that people want to work and invest in.
The programme is helping to create over 620 jobs and more than 19,000 trainee opportunities.