Hopeful bids build up for former Lindsey Lower School site in Cleethorpes
A HANDFUL of bids have been received for the former Lindsey Lower School site in Cleethorpes.
Commercial property agency Scotts, appointed by North East Lincolnshire Council and Balfour Beatty, received "more than three and less than ten bids" ahead of Friday's deadline, having given a guide price of £750,000 to £1 million for the 3.5 acre site.
The local authority and partner will now consider a presentation that will be put together by the team headed by Lawrence Brown, partner at the Town Hall Street chartered surveyors, before deciding which, if any, of the bids is successful.
Mr Brown said: "We have had a number of bids – more than three and less than ten, which is what I expected.
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"They are for a range of different uses, some of which have been highlighted in the Grimsby Telegraph, and we have a variety of different amounts that have been offered.
"The exercise we have been through has been a proper exercise, to look at achieving a sale at the best price."
The bids are in the process of being collated, with the proposal, bidder, offer and conditions spelled out to bosses at Grimsby Town Hall and Balfour Beatty.
"Our role as agent is to outline and assimilate the information into easily digestible form for them to make a decision," said Mr Brown, who was not anticipating making a recommendation to the owners.
A sample of views from the Grimsby business community revealed overwhelming support for a hotel and spa, which would retain the original frontage that graces Clee Road. Simon Jones, solicitor acting for the private businessman behind the venture, which has seen initial architect's plans drawn up, confirmed the bid was placed on Friday afternoon.
A total of 80 per cent of the votes taking in all the publicly-known options backed the leisure plan, with scores of permanent jobs created and a new income stream for the area.
The poll was carried out on Business Telegraph's LinkedIn website group, following last week's revelation that both a charity and hotel and spa development were interested in the site, as well as a sympathetic housing development that would use the original materials, but not retain the school.
Opened up for comments to help gauge the mood, Claire Smith, owner of Cleethorpes-based CLS Training, said: "I have lived in Cleethorpes nearly all my life and I personally think a hotel and spa is a lovely idea for the area. Not only would it create jobs in the area, I also think it would give the area a much needed boost.
"As long as it is in keeping with the area. I think they need to also consider adding conference facilities. It would encourage the larger companies along our coast to keep their business local, adding yet more business."
Nina Stobart, who heads up the BEEP business education and enterprise partnership, and works at Phillips66, said: "A hotel and spa would be great and such a characterful building. It would be nice to use it to encourage more spending in the area."
Andy Inch, director of Grimsby-based ID Architecture, said: "I am not sure this is the right location for a hotel and spa and I suspect the building will not be particularly well suited to this use.
"It would need an enormous amount of work to convert as a hotel so it will probably be more viable to pull it down and start again – and that would be a shame."
Mary Vickers, North East Lincolnshire's industrial chaplain, said: "Personally, I would like the spa hotel option.
"However, with my 'professional hat' on, and as someone who knows a bit about the Rock Foundation (the charity option) that'd be a great option for them and their clients."