SPALDING’S £6.5million Red Lion Quarter is expected to be fully transferred to Boston College within a matter of weeks – and with it comes an assurance that the project will no longer be a burden on the taxpayer.
Although plans have not yet been made for the former food court area of the building, the district’s food heritage will be celebrated in the atrium thanks to seasonal displays.
Amanda Mosek, principal of Boston College, said: “We are very respectful of the food heritage element of the Red Lion Quarter.
“The atrium will be a food heritage display area, with some permanent elements and some which change with the seasons.
“We want to showcase seasonal food, local producers and local produce to celebrate the food heritage of the area.
“Sage restaurant will be offering dishes to tie in with the displays and there will be course teaching people how to cook with the produce.”
Two of the building’s retail units have been taken by Heckington firm Style Floors, while the third remains vacant at the moment.
Of the 12 offices, around half are currently occupied, with negotiations ongoing to fill two more.
The college will be increasing the number of courses on offer, meaning students will no longer have to travel to Boston or Peterborough for further education.
The transfer, which is being backed by Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce, will create jobs, although the number has not been released.
Vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce Phil Scarlett said: “We are pleased to have been involved in the process and it will be interesting to see the level of interest it generates.
“It’s very exciting to have a college of this stature in the town and it’s very important to us that the food heritage aspect of the centre is maintained.”
Petronella Keeling, director of Fen Properties which holds a covenant on the use of the site, said she is delighted that after many years’ of work, the area’s food heritage will be showcased in a meaningful way.
The plans will be recommended to the district council’s cabinet on Tuesday before going to full council for final ratification on April 11.
The college, which was one of South Holland District Council’s original partners in the project, will take over the freehold – meaning it will be fully responsible for the whole building.
Speaking yesterday, district council deputy leader Coun Nick Worth, said the move is great news for the town.
He said: “We will have a lot of young and older people coming into the town – we will have our own college here.
“We have been through a procurement process and we didn’t have anyone come out of that which would fit the criteria of the building.
“We’ve had some very positive meetings with Boston College about their ideas and the important thing is the original outcomes for the building – education and learning provision, showcasing Lincolnshire’s food heritage, safeguarding existing jobs and creating news ones and offering office and retail space for small start-up businesses – will all continue.”