£650,000 to protect Market Place
Last updated at 12:33, Thursday, 24 May 2012
WHITEHAVEN’S Market Place area welcomed a huge boost this week with the agreement of £650,000 from the Heritage Lottery.
It will help protect and enhance the fabric of the Old Town area in a £2.2million scheme and see buildings in Market Place, James Street and Lower Swingpump Lane improved and the former YMCA in Irish Street revitalised.
Copeland Council bid for the cash – part of a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) pot – last December and heard this week that it had been agreed in principle.
Now it is hoped the sum will be backed by money from Energy Coast West Cumbria, private-sector investment and some Copeland funding to make a total project budget of around £2.2million.
The money would be used for improving buildings, increasing heritage-related construction skills, bringing empty properties back into use and improving public areas. The YMCA building would be a priority for heritage-related improvements, and several other buildings would benefit.
The council will now work with other partners, including the Whitehaven Town Team (created for the Mary Portas bid), to work up more detailed proposals before submitting a second, full bid in September (the Heritage Lottery Fund has provided a grant of £48,000 to help produce these detailed proposals). If final funding is secured, the project would start next year for five years.
Coun Phil Greatorex, portfolio holder for regeneration at Copeland, said: “Working together will be the key to the success of our final Townscape Heritage Initiative bid, so it is important we work closely with our partners like the Town Team and the businesses and property owners in this area of Whitehaven to put forward the strongest final bid we can.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the bid so far – there was a lot of hard work from some extremely dedicated professionals, and I look forward to working closely with them to bring this scheme to fruition. Whitehaven’s historical nature is one of its prime assets and the town’s economic fortunes are tied up with it.”
Stephen Murphy, a member of Whitehaven Town Team, said: “The THI proposals complement the work we have been doing in Whitehaven in recent weeks and show the joined-up approach to improving the town for everyone’s benefit.”
The Heritage Lottery’s THI scheme encourages local partnerships to repair historic buildings or spaces. Grants range from £500,000 to £2million.
MPs were being urged this week to join a Parliamentary campaign to support their town centres. On Tuesday an initiative called Charter for Town and City Centres was launched to encourage MPs to help kick-start the regeneration of their high streets. Signatories must engage with local authorities, town centre managers, retailers, market traders, leisure providers and other members of the business community.
MPs have also been urged to support the Love Your Local Markets Campaign (June 23 to July 8).
First published at 11:12, Thursday, 24 May 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
In answer to "crisby" whats the point in moaning, the town council is bound to mess this up as they seem to do with anything else that they touch. The money is there to save and enhance the market place and surrounding area my question is What Market? a ramshakle small collection of traders who struggle on a twice weekly basis to scratch a living from the depressingly small retail footprint of Whitehaven as it is now. This money should be use for the whole of the retail area King St, Lowther St etc etc where it wont be long before there are more empty retail units than filled ones.
Lets see how Copeland Council can loose this money. wonder who they will blame this time around.
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