The money comes from the Government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund, a £4.8 billion scheme designed to help communities across the UK ‘level up’.
At Spilsby Sessions House, it will be used to bring the building – a former jail – back into use as a theatre and as a community-owned space. The funding would allow the listed building's old police cells to be opened to the public, creating a new visitor attraction.
At Alford Manor House, £2.5m is to be spent to create a permanent function space and fund the relocation and improvement of the tearoom and kitchen, freeing up space for improved displays within the museum.
At Alford Windmill, £1.1m will go towards safeguarding the future of the historic mill, now a member of the Heritage at Risk register. Work will see the mill restored and re-open as a major attraction, with a new visitor experience, café and shop.Coun Adam Grist, portfolio holder for market towns and rural economy at East Lindsey District Council, said: “It is fantastic news for Spilsby and Alford to be awarded this funding which will revive facilities which are historically and socially important for both towns.
“The funding will truly be transformational for these heritage sites and the communities they support. New tourist attractions which enhance the current offer will be created which will help secure their use for generations to come.
“These projects are vitally important for supporting the tourism offer in the Lincolnshire Wolds and wider East Lindsey. By enhancing the district’s visitor offer as a whole will help the market towns attract visitors and holiday makers from our coastal towns.
“Securing this funding is a great day for the community groups and a celebration of partnership working. There are so many hardworking people committed to these cultural facilities and I am so delighted the Government has recognised this and is supporting us to help keep these facilities thriving.
“I would like to thank everyone who has involved in this bid and all the community groups who wrote letters of support.”
Bruce Knight, heritage and arts co-ordinator at Spilsby Sessions House, said: “We are so pleased about the Levelling Up decision. The Spilsby Sessions House charity will now be able to realise the vision of fully repairing the Grade II listed heritage site and transforming a theatre at risk into a visitor attraction and community arts venue for all.
“The impact of this project will be a huge boost for the local community and for East Lindsey as whole. It will complement the Town Deal investment the district council has already achieved for the coast and will create something that people across the region can be proud of.”
Dennis Bell, of Alford Manor House and Alford Windmill said: “The purpose behind the Levelling Up fund application is the transformation of Alford by establishing a viable tourist product to attract the tens of thousands of tourists holidaying on the coast to visit Alford
“This extra footfall will boost the local economy and provide jobs for the future.”
Victoria Atkins, MP for Louth and Horncastle said: “I am delighted by the news that Alford and Spilsby will benefit from a boost of £8 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. This transformational funding will bolster the cultural offer to constituents and visitors and support the local economy.
“Since being elected, I have championed our market towns and have worked with community groups on reviving and enhancing much loved heritage sites that are at the heart of our communities. I have pressed the Government to invest in our corner of Lincolnshire and was pleased to support this bid in partnership with East Lindsey District Council.
“On top of the landmark £24 million Mablethorpe Towns Fund, this substantial funding will help ensure the constituency of Louth and Horncastle continues to be a bright place to live, work and visit for future generations.”