Work begins on new coffee outlet in Horncastle - and it could be open in November

Contractors are in the process of converting the former Achurch & Sons building.
Contractors are in the process of converting the former Achurch & Sons building.

Work on a new Costa Coffee outlet is underway in Horncastle - and it could be open within the first two weeks of November.

Contractors moved into the former Achurch and Son hardware store in the town’s Market Place last week.

The Horncastle News were invited inside to see the progress.

The Horncastle News were invited inside to see the progress.

According to sources, the conversion into a 95-cover Costa outlet is likely to take between 4/5 weeks.

Costa has yet to confirm details of any opening, how many new jobs have been created - or who the franchisee is.

However, the fact the conversion has started ends speculation about what was happening to the building.

Previous owners moved out at the end of July, ending a link between Achurch and the town going back more than 100 years - the last 32 of them at the Market Place site.

Costa already have planning permission for a 60-seat facility on the ground floor with accommodation for another 35 customers on the first floor.

The outside of the building has been painted white and exterior signs are expected to be fitted over the next couple of weeks.

The building is in a conservation area, restricting what changes can be made - particularly on the outside.

Costa’s arrival has attracted a mixed response, although many people have welcomed a major national chain.

However, there has been concern about the impact on the town’s independently owned cafes and coffee houses.

Town mayor, Coun Brian Burbidge, said he believes Costa will deliver a significant boost.

He said: “We need new businesses, and the fact a major national company is investing in the town has to be a good thing.

“It will help generate publicity and bring in more people.”

Coun Burbidge said he understood why existing coffee shops and cafes were concerned, but said they offered ‘something different’ to Costa.

Resident Mark Adams,(19), told the News: “I can’t wait for Costa to open.

“Horncastle needs something like this.

“A lot of people go out of town, but Costa will bring people in, and hopefully they’ll use other shops as well.”

Nick Johnson,(26), said he hoped other national chains would follow Costa’s lead.

He said: “Horncastle is really struggling. We need some big names - like an Aldi or Lidl.

“A McDonalds would be great. We wouldn’t have to drive 50 miles then.”

Patricia Hunt,(67), said she would not be using Costa.

She added: “It is good a new business is opening, but I worry at least one of the coffee houses will close.”

While attention is focused on Costa, there is speculation about the future use of another prominent High Street building.

According to sources, the former NatWest Bank premises has sold at auction for £104,000.