City Centre Redevelopment
The Cornhill Quarter, Lincoln

The client: Lincolnshire Co-operative Ltd

Banks Long & Co lead: Tim Bradford & Alex Statham

The brief: In 2014, Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited challenged Banks Long & Co to rethink the major City Centre regeneration project formerly known as Lindongate. 

After two attempts to deliver large, covered department store-anchored shopping centres with development partners in the 1990s and 2000s, Banks Long & Co proposed a totally new direction to bring new life, vibrancy and prosperity to the Sincil Street and Cornhill area of Lincoln.

Banks Long & Co led on-site assembly, development consultancy, project management and lettings for The Cornhill Quarter’s regeneration project, which covers in excess of 150,000 square feet and represents the city’s most significant retail development in recent history.

The £70m project aims to welcome new and exciting brands, shops, restaurants and facilities to Lincoln’s bustling city centre, providing an immersive shopping experience while maintaining and making the most of its existing character buildings.

Banks Long & Co Solution: Recognising at that time that the City Centre retailing environment was totally reinventing itself, Banks Long & Co advised the client to engage collaboratively with key stakeholders including City of Lincoln Council, Lincolnshire County Council and Stagecoach.

The creation of a transport hub-anchored City Centre development allowed the phased regeneration of historically prosperous secondary retailing locations around Cornhill, Cornhill Pavements and Sincil Street to be brought forward and become the Cornhill Quarter.

One of the major catalysts for the project was the delivery of a pay-as-you-leave, high-quality, 1,000-space car park strategically located to allow shoppers to park safely and conveniently and travel naturally through the new retailing, dining and leisure scheme surrounded by top quality new public realm.

In addition to the car park, the scheme also delivered a brand new bus station and significant improvements to the railway station, therefore providing a new entrance to the City with a top quality first impression, reinforced by the attention to detail and quality of materials used throughout the Cornhill Quarter.

Banks Long & Co worked alongside all parties involved in the extensive regeneration project, developing the strong message and story needed to illustrate the strengths of Lincoln and the Cornhill Quarter and encourage the UK’s biggest, most popular brands to expand into the area.

The results: The creation of a range of well-designed shop, restaurant and leisure units and the focus on an attractive mix of national, local and independent traders has created a top-end, high-quality scheme that has resulted in attracting big-name, highly sought after brands to Lincoln.

The arrivals of the likes of Everyman, The Botanist and The Cosy Club within the F&B and leisure market along with Hobbs, Phase 8, Whistles, Lakeland, Seasalt and Superdry demonstrate the confidence these high-end operators have in Lincoln. The placemaking vision and overall quality of the architectural approach have made the  Cornhill Quater standout as one of the few success stories in UK city-centre redevelopment.

The operators that arrived prior to the Coronavirus lockdowns traded beyond expectations, which helped to bring more impressive brands into the scheme.

“We feel so privileged to be able to announce the opening of our very special venue in Lincoln,” Crispin Lilly, CEO of Everyman Cinemas told East Midlands Business Link in August. “We think we’ve achieved something very special in Lincoln”. 

Ursula Lidbetter, Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive said: “It’s been successful because it’s a really good concept: combining the historic architecture with fantastic new buildings. We picked Banks Long & Co to work with us on this because they really understand our culture and the way we want to work. 

“We’ve all worked together and it feels like something Lincoln really has created for Lincoln.”

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Live reported that, “Shoppers say they are hugely impressed… and can’t wait to enjoy alfresco dining and outdoor entertainment.”