Market Place in Spalding has received a welcome double tonic.
Part of the former White Hart Hotel and the neighbouring ex-Wimpy burger bar are to be given new leases of life thanks to successful planning applications.
At the former hotel – a Grade II* listed building – internal alterations will create two units on the ground floor and a large office unit on the first floor.
And national chain LloydsPharmacy is moving in next door.
The news of prominent Market Place buildings receiving a lift was welcomed by ward member for South Holland District Council, Coun Gary Taylor.
“I welcome the fact that these town centre units are being brought back into use. I wish them luck and success in their business,” he said. “This is another clear example of how our local economy is improving, as a town centre with a good variety of quality shops makes it feel vibrant and a place where people want to shop, socialise and do business.”
Part of the ex-White Hart is occupied by Shanghai Garden Restaurant. Just across the archway a shop will be created at the rear. A second unit at the front – which has been empty since Shooters Bar closed several years ago – will have a reception added and retain its premises licence for the time being, although retail use might be a possibility in future.
Upstairs will be offices, retaining some of the building’s nice medieval features.
Sleaford property company J Hodgson and Sons Ltd is behind the plans for the site.
Director Robert Hodgson said: “Hopefully what we have in mind will enhance the White Hart – there’s nothing nicer than seeing old buildings brought back into use.
“We’re quite excited about starting work in the offices, which has exposed timbers and will make a really nice space for someone.
“And we’d say it’s a great prospect to get a tenant like LloydsPharmacy next door.
“These things will do a lot for the Market Place. You don’t need to do much to give a place like that a lift. It gives the community a better feel about it and suddenly an area can become thriving again.”
LloydsPharmacy will transfer from its smaller Bridge Street premises in a few months’ time but was unable to say yet whether jobs will be created.
A spokesperson said: “LloydsPharmacy has received approval from the NHS to relocate pharmacy services in Spalding from our current location on Bridge Street to a new site in Market Place.
“The new location offers a larger space, making it more accessible for customers and allowing us to introduce our new approach to community health which includes new services and product ranges.
“A provisional opening date in early autumn has been set for the reopening, which is subject to the necessary works being carried out.”
The former Wimpy is part of a three-storey building described as “a neo-classical design which can clearly be identified as a non-designated heritage asset”.
Wimpy first closed in 2006 but reopened briefly again in 2009.