A major extension to Sleaford’s National Centre of Craft and Design will begin to take shape in the coming days as its new steel frame is installed.

It is a major milestone for the £1.2 million project, which is due to finish in May next year, and comes just weeks after MRI Software revealed it would be relocating to new office space in the development.

The NCCD, owned by North Kesteven District Council, is undergoing a £1.2 million refurbishment creating an enhanced modernised space for visitors and arts practioners.

All the current features of the NCCD will be retained by the addition of a 200 square metre ground extension.

Building contractor Lindum said the project was going very well.

Site manager Bryan Palmer said: “We have completed the foundations ready for the steel structure to be installed. That is when people will really start to see the scale of the building. Once that’s complete, we will begin the brickwork.

“The project has been very smooth so far. Although it is an incredibly tight site, the public have been understanding and we’ve got a great relationship with the craft centre team.

“The centre is back open on a part-time basis and we are working with the team there to make sure it can still be safely accessed.”

Once complete, the new-look building will feature a ground floor gallery, an artist workshop, a children’s zone and a performing arts studio. The food and drinks offer will also be significantly improved by a large indoor bistro and an outdoor seating area taking in views of the River Slea.

Leader of North Kesteven District Council Councillor Richard Wright said: “It’s exciting to see this milestone aspect of our transformation of the NCCD get underway, as part of our £1.2 million programme of investment to reconfigure and enhance this well-respected and much-used facility.

“The works will increase its importance as a local hub, along with added conferencing facilities and space for local business MRI Software, as well as growing its significance nationally as a centre for craft, the arts and all it’s known for already.”

Lindum was awarded the contract through the Pagabo construction framework.

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