A theatre, cinema, bar and market space are all part of the vision being put forward for the future use of Bourne Town Hall.
The building has been empty since 2014, but now Bourne Town Hall Steering Group has revealed an exciting new design concept.
The aim is to restore the building as a public amenity to be used as a focal point for the arts and events in Bourne – run for, and by, the people in the town.
An initial concept has been drawn up by the steering group, which has been working with Lincolnshire County Council – trustee of the Bourne Town Hall charity.
The plans show how the first floor courtroom would be converted into a performance space capable of hosting shows and operating as a community cinema.
The plans also include a hospitality and bar area at the front of the building. A new internal feature staircase would provide access directly to the first floor, together with a lift for disabled access.
The ground floor would be returned to its original 1821 configuration of a large open ‘shambles’ providing flexible space for holding events such as regular craft markets or as a meeting place for a range of activities.
In order for this plan to become a reality it will be necessary to gain approval from the Charity Commission to amend the original purpose of the building from the current use as a ‘courtroom’ to the new purposes.
If approved by the Charity Commission, the plan will be to set up a new charitable trust to take over the ownership and running of the building.
The next most significant challenge will be to raise the funds to complete the restoration and conversion, however the team are optimistic that with the potential to apply for grants to restore historic buildings the scheme is viable.
If successful the team plan to reuse the original term ‘Bourne Sessions House’, from when the Quarter or Petty sessions of the courts were held there almost 200 years ago.
Cllr David Brailsford, chair of the Bourne Town Hall Trust Management Committee, said: “The steering group have made excellent progress in putting some proposals together that could bring this building back into regular use by the community.
“Now it’s time for people in Bourne to have their say on these more detailed ideas. The town hall really does have the potential to be at the heart of the community in Bourne once again and play a role in the town’s future.”
Open days days showing off the plans will be held on Saturday, September 24, and on the following Saturday, October 1, from 10am to 4pm.