Councillors agree bargain deal in boost for recreation ground

All this - for just �1. The site for the planned new recreation ground off Prospect Street
All this - for just �1. The site for the planned new recreation ground off Prospect Street

You don’t get much for a £1 these days....unless you happen to be a member of Horncastle Town Council.

Councillors have sealed a deal with East Lindsey District Council to buy a sizeable area of land off Prospect Street - and they’ve paid just £1!

That bargain price boosts the chances of a much anticipated new recreation ground going ahead.

The site has been earmarked for a multi-purpose facility with the town council leading the ambitious project.

Councillors are applying for grants with the development expected to cost around £250,000.

The main grant sources would be ‘WREN’ and Sport England.

However, the town council’s application has been delayed because the two organisations only award money to anyone who owns the land, or has a long-term lease.

The town council was in danger of missing a December deadline for applications while ELDC were still owners.

The deal means the town council will take on ownership as part of an ‘asset transfer’ between the two authorities.

The Prospect Street site transfer was agreed at the town council meeting last week.

Town clerk Amanda Bushell described the deal as ‘a major step forward’.

She confirmed ‘final paperwork’ was in the hands of solicitors, but explained town councillors had received an ‘electronic version’ of the contract and were happy with the details.

She explained: “Once everything is officially signed, we can go ahead with the applications.

“We’ve just got to decide how to pay ELDC the £1!”

The deal includes an agreement that if the site is sold for any development apart from the recreation ground, it will be offered back to ELDC.

Mrs Bushell thanked ELDC for their help and support.

There is no guarantee either of the applications will succeed. The town council is appealing to businesses for donations, and is exploring other potential funding streams. The council has a contributed £50,000.

A recreation ground was backed by residents in a consultation. It will feature free-to- use sport and leisure facilities for all age groups.

The town council is working with a company called ‘Freestyle Places’ to develop the project.

•Other assets specified in the transfer from ELDC will be decided later.

They include The Wong and facilities used by several sporting clubs.

Mrs Bushell said: “Some of the transfers are more complicated because they involve lease agreements .

“That is taking time.”