Historic Lincoln building could be turned into a restaurant

Commercial agents have launched a search to find new tenants for an historic shop premises left empty by a leading Lincoln retailer’s decision to call it a day.

Lincoln-based Banks Long & Co is marketing the distinctive, five-storey High Street building, which was occupied by Ruddocks of Lincoln until Easter.

The property offers flexible space which Banks Long & Co said would ideally suit another retailer or established or ambitious restaurateur.

News follows owner Henry Ruddock’s tough decision to close his shop, which had traded from the site for more than 163 years, latterly stocking stationery, art materials, toys and gifts. The Ruddock family has owned the property since March 1904.

Banks Long & Co director James Butcher said: “Everyone was shocked and saddened when Mr Ruddock decided to close the store, which was such a long-standing feature of Lincoln’s shopping scene.

“We are now marketing the premises widely and hope that the fact that they occupy such a visible and busy part of the city’s High Street, which attracts constant footfall, will help us to find new tenants quickly. There has been plenty of interest as you would expect and we have received a number of proposals, from both national retailers and restaurateurs.

“Lincolnshire has a population of nearly 550,000 people and Lincoln has a growing catchment area, which means the city has the power to attract spending of £984.40 million a year. The shopping habits of about 15,000 students have also helped to contribute an estimated £250 million to the local economy.

“Whilst there is much talk about the changes taking place on the country’s High Streets, Lincoln continues to steadily attract new names in food, leisure and retailing to the city – a trend that continued throughout the last Recession. This gives us confidence for further growth,” added Mr Butcher.

Businesses interested in a move to the former “Ruddocks” store, have the opportunity to rent the building for £130,000 a year, excusive of business rates and VAT.

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