Lottery funding pays for restoration

Four grants have been awarded to help pay for renovations under Prescot's £1.85m Townscape Heritage Initiative, aimed at giving new life to historic buildings in the Knowsley town.

The THI Partnership Board provisionally awarded grants totalling £300,000, subject to detailed plans and costings being approved, to be used to repair, restore and reuse a number of historic properties in the town centre.

A total of seven new homes and a new commercial unit will be provided in the empty floors of the four buildings in Eccleston Street, Market Place, Atherton Street and High Street.

The works to be undertaken at the properties are:

11 Market Place. External repairs, restoration of chimney, restoration of traditional windows and conservative repair of the existing Victorian shopfront

29-31 Eccleston Street. External repairs, conversion of empty upper floors to four flats, restoration of chimneys, window repairs, restoration of double shopfront.

13-15 Atherton Street. External and structural repairs, conversion of empty upper floors to two flats, conversion of empty ground floor to new commercial unit, restoration of windows to former watchmakers' workshops.

40 High Street. External repairs, restoration of external brickwork, conversion of empty upper floors to a flat, window repairs, restoration of prominent corner shopfront.

Work is expected to start on all four buildings in spring next year.

The THI Board includes local councillors, local business representatives including the Chamber of Commerce, Prescot Town Team and Knowsley Hall, and heritage interest representatives such as Prescot Heritage Hub, Shakespeare North and the North West Heritage Skills Academy.

Cllr Dave Lonergan, cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills and chairman of the Prescot THI Board, said: "This demonstrates our commitment to bring vacant and under-used buildings back into use as well as carrying out building repairs which will improve their longevity. As well as improving the overall appearance in the town centre, the THI project will enrich Prescot's rich heritage and revitalise the town centre. I look forward to building on the improvements made on Leyland Street and seeing further projects commencing early next year."

The Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative was awarded £1.85m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The programme started in March this year and will run for five years.

Already, £310,000 of highway improvements to Leyland Street have been completed as part of the programme. Traditional materials were used to update pavements, the road was resurfaced, new trees planted, street lighting improved and a new event space created.

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