YMCA Now Foyer Whitehaven
The former YMCA building, now known as The Foyer

Council consults on Whitehaven revamp

Copeland Borough Council has launched a survey to help it assess the success of the five-year Whitehaven Townscape Heritage Initiative, which reaches its end in December.

The project has been concerned with improvements to the area of James Street and Market Place, looking to create an attractive gateway for the town centre. Among the developments is the conversion of the YMCA building into The Foyer, a charitable operation supporting young people into independent living.

As the Townscape initiative reaches its conclusion, the council said that by completion its work will have included the redevelopment of ten properties, supported the creation of four new businesses in previously vacant properties, seen the creation of six residential properties, provided a public space on a former toilet block site, and provided training and learning opportunities for nearly 1,400 people.

The properties that have received grants are:

  • The former YMCA building (now The Foyer)
  • Beaute by Joanne (32 James Street,formerly vacant)
  • AG Fashion (36 James Street)
  • Cafe 35 (35 James Street)
  • James Street Barbers (38 James Street)
  • Chicken Shop (42 Market Place)
  • The Market Deli (43 Market Place)
  • Little Whims (45 Market Place, formerly vacant)
  • Timeless Beauty (48 Market Place)
  • New Hong Kong (50 Market Place)

The initiative has also provided walking tours and creative writing workshops for more than 750 local schoolchildren.

Tours of The Foyer building, summer town trail walking tours and workshops in building maintenance and repairs, energy efficiency, lime works, stonemasonry, lead working and roofing have also been put on for tradespeople and members of the public.

A Love it or Lose it building repair and maintenance manual and a Conservation Area Design Guide set to protect the borough’s rich architectural history have also been produced.

Funding for the project is from Heritage Lottery Fund, Britain’s Energy Coast, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council.

The survey is available online and closes on Friday 26 October.

In April, BEC – Britain’s Energy Coast – announced plans for a £55m first phase of investment at North Shore, Whitehaven, including a hotel, car park, and 75,000 sq ft office building. BEC is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Copeland and Allerdale councils and Cumbria County Council.

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