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Former University of Lincoln site in Holbeach could become children’s centre





A former university building could be transformed into a children’s centre under new plans.

Lincolnshire County Council wants to convert Minerva House in Holbeach into a children’s services hub complete with play areas and sixth form accommodation.

The site - which had previously been used by the University of Lincoln as part of its Holbeach campus for the National Centre for Food Manufacturing - could be providing services to help children and young people aged up to 19.

Minerva House in Holbeach could become a children's hub if planners agree
Minerva House in Holbeach could become a children's hub if planners agree

A contractor will be providing 57 spaces for children under the age of five.

The design and access statement says: “Holbeach Minerva House has previously been occupied by the University of Lincoln and has been used for education and research purposes since at least 2009, with Lincolnshire County Council taking ownership of the site in 2019.

“The existing tenant has vacated the building and the proposed refurbishment will turn the building into a Children’s Services hub with Early Years provision, Children’s Centre, and Sixth Form accommodation all operating from one site.

“The Children’s Centre service will serve families with children and young people aged 0-19 years, with families visiting throughout the day to engage with LCC staff and services.

“The Early Years provision will be contracted to a provider and will offer 57 places for children aged 0-5. Holbeach University Academy wish to use the remainder of the building for laboratory and teaching space.”

The application states that the building will be subdivided but previous fixtures, such as cold room linings and food tasting bays, will be removed.

Plans also include creating a new doorway along with bringing clad windows back into use.

A new layout is proposed for the car park to help meet the council’s aim to reduce single occupancy car journeys and to increase staff walking and cycling.

Opening hours are likely to be from 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday with the children’s centre expected to operate from 8.30am to 4pm.

The application states: “The applicant proposes to refurbish a building that has previously been occupied by Lincoln University. The University has now vacated the building and the applicant proposes to refurbish the building to create a Children’s Services hub with Early Years provision, Children’s Centre, and Sixth Form accommodation all operating from one site.

“This application seeks to change the use of the building from it existing varied use to those noted above. Additionally, there will be amendments to the car park areas and new external play areas will be created and securely fenced.”

Geraldine O’Neill, sustainability and development manager, said: “The council is working on proposals to redevelop Minerva House to provide a new home for the local children’s centre and space for a private childcare provider.

“In addition, some of the site would be used as teaching space for the neighbouring Holbeach University Academy. Plans are only in the early stages and would need to be approved through the council’s usual democratic procedures. Planning permission would also need to be granted for any works. Further information will be shared as the project progresses.”

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