Five Southgate Street Buildings Awarded Grants by Townscape Heritage Initiative
Five buildings in the Southgate Street of Gloucester have been awarded grants from the prestigious Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), and it is expected that this is only the beginning of exciting new developments and accolades.
The Townscape Heritage Initiative aims to encourage regeneration and local development while also preserving and improving older properties in one of the most well-known locations in the city. The five-year scheme has £1.2 million in investment, made up from a combination of funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a contribution from Gloucester’s own City Council. The council intends to have all funding allocated and available to selected property owners by November 2016.
The Initiative prioritises the awarding of its grants according to a scale on which buildings are deemed to be the most ‘at risk’ – such as unoccupied buildings or those already in a poor and rapidly declining condition. Approximately 20 buildings have been identified for grants under the scheme.
Councillor Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “It’s great to see the project progressing well and the funding helping to return some of these grand old buildings to their former glory. Southgate Street is an important link between the docks and the city centre, so the Townscape Heritage Initiative will really make a difference in this area.”
The Growing Property Market
The awards and developments have undoubtedly contributed to an overall rise in the interest in property and development in the region, with many seeking local flats and Gloucester houses for sale. Property websites such as http://www.tgres.co.uk/for-sale/ have regularly experienced an increase in traffic, with national sites such as BBC’s consumer and home-buyer page and the govenment’s property page also reporting increased activity.
Preservation for Future Generations
In order to maintain the positive effects of the scheme and to empower property owners to make the best use of the grant, the council has organised a series of workshops and training sessions for property owners and contractors to attend. Local schools have also received a series of special education packs that raise awareness and interest in the buildings of Southgate Street in particular and in Gloucester’s historic past overall.
“It’s great to see so much regeneration taking place in our city centre,” Councillor James concluded.