Bourne's Wake House structural repairs have started
Structural repairs have started on the historic Wake House in Bourne - but much more needs to be done.
Work started at the thriving community hub last week, with scaffolding put up as part of the three-month project.
Bourne Bourne Arts and Community Trust took charge of the building in North Street in 2015 and, having spent £49,000 on the 19th Century building, it is about to spend a further £70,000 on further works.
Trustee and secretary Greg Cejer said: “We are underpinning a ceiling that was sinking because when the local authority took over the building, they swapped a front door and put in a bay window without a rigid support joint to prevent subsidence.
“We are also making the roof watertight and getting the windows made watertight and doing rendering.”
“It is rectifying 40 years of work.”
The trust has received a £4,000 Heritage Alive Grant from InvestSK, the economic regeneration company owned by South Kesteven District Council.
However, Mr Cejer says the welcome support is a drop in the ocean compared with the £70,000 the trust has had to find from its reserves and the £300,000 the trust needs to fully restore the building.
“We are fed up with waiting for support. We could not do any more without using up our reserves,” he added.
Mr Cejer called on townspeople to support the building, which was the birthplace of Charles Frederick Worth, who became one of Europe’s most celebrated fashion designers in the late 1800s.
Today, the house is used by more than 70 groups and businesses and it will remain open while the current repairs are done.
The trustees hope that the sight of the scaffolding erected last week will galvanise the community into rallying in support of the venue.
The trust is operating a Gift Aid Scheme for donations towards the cost of future work and trustees are keen to talk to groups, employers and organisations who could help.
Anyone who wants to offer support, or who would like to use one of its rooms is asked to ring 01778 393517. Alternatively they can email firstname.lastname@example.org