Salisbury EcoHub Alliance is working to set up a new Environment Centre, the EcoHub, in Salisbury. We think we may have found potentially suitable premises.
The former Lloyds chemist shop on Blue Boar Row as it is now (above), and an impression of how it might look as Salisbury's new EcoHub (below).
Dilapidation or Rejuvenation?
Unfortunately, the old chemist shop is not the simple proposition it appears when viewed from Blue Boar Row. Behind and joined onto it are what remains of the ancient Blue Boar Inn, circa 1447, after which the road is named. These include a late mediaeval hall and a former stables and other buildings, all of which are owned by the council and are listed buildings in need of substantial repair.
Wiltshire Council is sitting on money from the Government's Future High Streets Fund, and has earmarked £800,000 towards restoring the ancient buildings and developing the site to include a number of flats, but needs a partner to put up the rest of the necessary cash.
For us to be able to become that partner would require doing a deal with the two councils to give us at least a five year lease on the shop, and us acquiring a large grant or grants from the National Lottery or other funders to carry out the work.
Discussions at still at an early stage, and although support from city councillors is encouraging so far, we have no idea whether it will prove to be feasible or be something that is just too big and complicated for us to be able to take on. Even if it does happen, we think the work would be likely to take at least a year before we could hope to move in.