Lynes Blacksmith Shop teams with Wellington North for rural development grant

Rural Economic Development grant could provide up to $60,000 to assist in restoration work

KENILWORTH – For the past six years the Lynes Blacksmith Shop Committee has been working to bring the fire back to the 1860s stone shop here.

Ever since the historic site was donated to the township by the Lynes family in 2017, efforts to return the shop to its original form have been underway.

Now the committee has teamed up with Wellington North Township to apply for provincial Rural Economic Development (RED) program funding, which would cover 30 per cent of project costs, to a maximum of $250,000.

In 2021, a Tacoma Engineering report established what was needed to bring the structurally-sound building up to modern standards.

Speaking at a council meeting last month, economic development officer Dale Small noted the roof needs replacing, entrances are to be brought up to modern code, security lighting installed, and the loft needs work.

The blacksmith shop committee is obtaining quotes for the work, though early estimates are in the range of $150,000 to $200,000.

If funds are approved the committee still has significant fundraising efforts ahead.

With a total project cost of $200,000, the grant would cover 30% or $60,000, leaving the committee to raise the remaining $140,000.

“In our recently completed Municipal Cultural Plan, the Lynes Blacksmith Shop was identified as a very important, if not the most significant, cultural asset in Wellington North,” Small wrote to the Advertiser.

“I have no doubt restoration will take place.”

If grant funds are approved, a project plan will be presented through the blacksmith shop committee.

It would also mark the third time the township has received funding under the revitalized RED model, prioritizing rural and Indigenous communities.

In 2020 the township was awarded $18,032 for outdoor Christmas decorations and outdoor exercise equipment, and in 2021 was awarded $32,195 toward the BMO parkette, a building mural, and downtown Wifi.