Building work to transform Stamford’s historic former St John Ambulance building in Elm Street into much-needed office space has now begun.
Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Cllr Kelham Cooke, met contractor Lindum Group on site last week in advance of the £230,000 refurbishment project for the council-owned property.
The building, which has been empty for ten years, will provide two storeys of open-plan office space to accommodate about 15 people, with work expected to take 14 weeks.
Cllr Kelham Cooke, who has been a driving force behind the building’s conversion, said: “I am delighted to see work starting to bring this amazing old building brought back into use.
“We know from enquiries received that demand for office space in Stamford remains high despite the pandemic. Enquiries are from existing businesses, those looking to relocate to the area and those looking to start their own business, and the building has been designed in line with feedback we have received.
“The open plan design will ensure flexibility to meet current and future needs, where people can meet, hot desk and operate more freely within the workplace.
“It might be a relatively small scheme but it’s in a great location in Stamford’s conservation area and we are confident that the demand will be there to occupy this remarkable property.”
Built of brick and slate, the building dates from the late 19th Century and was leased by St John Ambulance from 1925.
The 1,200sq ft building is in the town’s Conservation Area and will be restored in keeping with the surrounding area. Planning approval for the refurbishment was granted in May 2020.
SKDC awarded the contract to Lindum using the Scape Regional Construction framework and Lindum’s Peterborough division will carry out the work.
Lindum small works manager Paul Tierney said: “This is great project to be involved in. One of the best things about working in construction is giving new life to old buildings. It is such an important part of Stamford’s history and it is great to be part of the team that’s giving it a new purpose.
“The final design is sympathetic to its original look and the finished building will complement the surrounding area. The steel roller doors at the front will be removed and a new entrance will be built using reclaimed Yellow Stock Bricks to match the existing building as closely as possible. The bricks were sourced from a local supplier in Wisbech
“The work is expected to take around 14 weeks and a lot of that time will be spent making sure the building meets current regulations. It needs completely stripping back, and the floor needs replacing, while damp proofing and insulation will be installed throughout.”
Property agent Eddison’s Commercial will be handling letting.