A PROMINENT city businessman has made a seven figure bid to buy Lincoln’s historic Lawn complex.
Hotelier Jonathan Pass hopes to transform the former mental hospital into a quality Hotel and Conference centre.
The City Council decided to sell the buildings last summer and the deadline for the bids passed yesterday.
The proposals by Jonathan Pass, owner of Charlotte House Hotel,on the Lawns , include a restaurant, bistro and a public bar – each with its own entrance and open daily to visitors and city residents.
He also plans to fund the refurbishment of the Sir Joseph Banks Conservatory, working with the Joseph Banks Society to manage and run as an independent visitor attraction.
If the bid is successful the project will create more than 30 jobs.
Development plans for the new-look hotel and conference complex include adding fountains, restoring many of the building’s original features and creating an outdoor plaza with seating and landscaping.
If the scheme wins the backing of City Hall it would transform the dilapidated buildings into Lincoln’s largest conference facility with room for 500 delegates.
“I’m really passionate about Lincoln and believe this city has huge potential,” said Mr Pass.
“The Lawn could be the third jewel in the city’s crown alongside the Castle and the Cathedral. It is a fantastic building with a rich heritage and we want to turn it into Lincoln’s stately home”.
“The experience I’ve had transforming Charlotte House Hotel from a derelict building into a thriving business demonstrates an understanding of the site and the potential of the Lawns, we hosted over 150 weddings last year, the location proving ideal”
I am hopeful we will be successful. I really want to see the building play its part in the city’s economic growth rather than be turned into flats.”
The buildings on Union Road were built in 1820 and served as the first ever reformed lunatic asylum in Britain. It was used for this purpose until it closed in 1985.
The plans have already received backing from the Joseph Banks Society trustees.
“We consider the Conservatory to be a huge asset to both the complex and to the City of Lincoln and we are fully supportive of the proposal,” said the Society Honorary Secretary Paul Scott.
“The proposal will, in our view, provide an anchor point for the whole uphill area of Lincoln in terms of tourism and the economy whilst conserving and enhancing a vital part of Lincoln’s heritage.”