WORK has begun on the first Boston town centre shop to take advantage of a grant-funded scheme to repair, renovate and reinstate.
Hoppers Jewellers, at 49 Market Place, applied for a 50 per cent grant towards the cost of repairs to sash windows which may be more than 200 years old.
MG Dales Joinery will also reinstate time and weather-worn high-level guttering and lead work and give the frontage full redecoration.
Hoppers' shop manager Matthew O'Callaghan said: "We decided it was about time the building was restored to its former glory. The improvement to the Market Place and the introduction of the grant scheme made it the right time to do it."
Mr Rob Wright, of M.G. Dales said: "The sash windows were in a poor state of repair and the sash cords had perished but the original weights have been salvaged and are being reused. Everything will go back pretty much as it was to last another 200 years."
The work began at the end of August and is expected to be complete by the end of October.
Other property owners in the town centre are now being urged to make applications for grants – the cash is limited and will be awarded on a first come-first served basis.
Conservation project officer Laura Hodson said: "We are hoping, now that work is progressing on the first building, that more applicants will develop their plans and specifications and gain the necessary consents for work so that Boston Borough Council can assess them and offer grants to approved schemes."
The grant scheme was launched by English Heritage and the council to encourage property owners in and around the Market Place to come forward and improve the appearance of their own premises.
Grants are available for repairs, and priority is given to schemes involving the reinstatement of traditional shop fronts that will enhance the historic building and therefore the quality of the town centre.
Up to £650,000 may be available over the next five years.
Property owners can get in touch with Laura to gain advice about work that will be eligible for a grant and to discuss opportunities to improve the condition and quality of their properties. Contact her on 01205 314339 or email email@example.com