Thousands of pounds could be heading to Holbeach to regenerate the town centre.
Historic England helped revitalise key sites in Boston with a £200,000 cash injection and is poised to do something similar in Holbeach.
County and district councillor Nick Worth says any monies from the heritage body could be combined with section 106 cash to revitalise shops as well as safeguard important buildings.
He has just become chairman of Holbeach and District Civic Society, rescuing it from being wound up as the retiring chairman, Roger Taylor, and other officers stood down.
Coun Worth says there’s a new opportunity for the society to focus on Holbeach High Street if South Holland District Council applies for the town to become a Heritage Action Zone.
“I have had a number of conversations with both Lincolnshire County Council and South Holland District Council around the Conservation Area Management Plan,” said Coun Worth. “As a result of Heritage Lincolnshire’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ programme, Historic England have also taken an interest and would like Holbeach to be part of a pilot scheme and for South Holland to apply for the town to become a Heritage Action Zone. There is then the potential for external funding to be aligned with 106 planning monies to not just benefit the conservation area but regenerate the centre of town as well and make it into a thriving town that we all aspire to.”
A massive £5.4million is being poured into a new ‘economic gateway’ for Holbeach with a roundabout to replace Peppermint Junction and establishment of a Food Enterprise Zone alongside the A151, creating jobs, and some 900 homes to be built on the opposite side of the road.
That investment will bring more people to Holbeach, boosting the overall spend in town shops.
Coun Worth said it’s unusual for investment in town centres to be heritage-led but he’s delighted this opportunity is coming the town’s way.
With the establishment of the FEZ, he believes there will be greater demand from people wanting places to stay overnight.
“We have got the Mansion House, which is nice, and a few B&Bs but there will be opportunities to develop other sites,” he said.
Work will also focus on inappropriate use of materials in the conservation area as well as breathing new life into vacant and derelict buildings.
Mr Taylor thanked Coun Worth for picking up the baton of the civic society.
• What do you think? Email lynne.harrison@ iliffepublishing.co.uk