St Austell’s important historic buildings and public areas will be rejuvenated following the announcement that the town has been awarded £900,000 of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The restoration scheme will focus on St Austell town centre.
53 historic buildings needing restoration have been prioritised in St Austell’s Conservation Area and the work, will which will take four years to complete, can start next spring.
Cornwall Council, St Austell Town Council and the BID have contributed an additional £80,000 to fund the scheme. With funding from property owners, it is hoped to generate almost £1.4 million investment in the town centre.
The funding comes from HLF’s Townscape Heritage programme which aims to help communities regenerate towns and cities across the UK by improving their built historic environment.
The submission was put forward by Cornwall Council as, by working with St Austell Town Council, it was recognised that St Austell had empty and underused properties that could be renovated and brought back into use.
The funding will pay for high quality traditional repairs and reinstate shopfronts, signs and missing architectural detail in St Austell’s Conservation Area helping to protect the historic details of buildings. The scheme will focus on the town centre, in particular historic buildings in Fore Street, Market Street, Church Street, Duke Street, Trevarthian Road and High Cross Street.
The skills training programme will provide training for local architects, surveyors, contractors and college students in both traditional and new sustainable building techniques, leading to employment opportunities for local people.
Steve Double MP welcomes St Austell town Heritage scheme success
Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has welcomed the successful bid
Commenting, Steve said:
“I am delighted to see the success of this bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for nearly £1m which will be available to restore some of the historic buildings in the town centre.”
“I have been involved with this bid since my time as a Cabinet member on Cornwall Council in 2012.
“We have a rich history and heritage in St Austell town centre and it needs to be preserved for future generations. The Heritage Lottery Fund money will be used to assist landlords of heritage buildings to upgrade their external facades, it will be used to improve public spaces such as Duke Street, and to improve the skills base in heritage maintenance in the area.”
“The successful application is another example of what is possible when we all work together. The Strategic Historic Environment Service at Cornwall Council led the application process and they are to be congratulated for their excellent submission.”
“The St Austell team drew resources from the Town Council, the St Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce, the St Austell BID and my constituency team. Well done to everyone who has worked to achieve this success.”
The Eden Project have been also been part of the project to work up the scheme, and skills training programmes which start from spring 2018.
Work has also been undertaken to produce a Shopfront Design Guide to improve reinstated shopfronts and signs in the conservation area. Shop owners, designers and contractors and those involved in planning, for whom the final guide is intended for, were invited were encouraged to comment on the draft version of the guide over the summer.
Feedback was incorporated to the final version of the Shopfront Guide and included additional information on making shops accessible for all and choice of building materials. When put in to practice the Shopfront Guide will help protect the town’s historic character.
Cllr Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Planning said: “This is very good news for St Austell’s town centre. We need to maintain St Austell’s rich history as it will help increase people’s pride in where they work and live. Upskilling the local workforce in traditional skills will both create jobs and prevent these important skills being lost.”