Three Lancashire architects will help restore Kirkham’s main street as part of a new program led by Fylde Council.
More than 35 homeowners have signed up to Fylde Town Council’s store facade improvement program, which began after Kirkham was designated a High Street Heritage Action Area (HS HAZ) by Historic England.
The Regeneration Department appointed Kirkham-based DC and MG Associates, Preston’s North West Design Collective (NWDC), in partnership with Blackpool-based Joseph Boniface Architects, to undertake the work.
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DC and MG Associates Director Mick Goode said, “Being selected to work on this exciting project in our hometown means a lot to us.
“As architects, we are very keen to see how we can help the meaningful regeneration of Kirkham businesses.
“This huge opportunity offered by the HS HAZ investment may be the next step in making Kirkham a prosperous place to live, work and visit.”
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Grants covering up to 90% of the design and construction costs of specialized restoration work are available to businesses to help them restore historic features including wood sash windows, slate roofs, storefronts of wooden stores, brick joints and gutters.
The organizers hope that the restoration work can start as early as February 2022.
The store facade improvement program is part of the £ 10million Kirkham Futures regeneration master plan, which aims to bring the city center back to life by restoring the buildings on Main Street and improving the public realm .
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Organizers hope the renovated storefronts and the removal of unsightly building modifications will brighten up the main street and create an appearance more in keeping with Kirkham’s historic market town status.
Architects are now working with store owners and tenants whose buildings are in the central conservation area, spanning Poulton Street, Church Street, Preston Street and Freckleton Street.
DC and MG Associates have worked on several conservation projects in their hometown, such as the restoration of the Willows Church designed by Pugin and the spire of Michael’s Church.
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NWDC Architect and Conservation Director Jill Cowgill said: “Grants are available to cover up to 90% of the facade restoration and improvement work, so this is an opportunity. fantastic for the Kirkham business community.
“Joseph Boniface Architects and NWDC have worked together in the past on the Blackpool Quality Corridor – a £ 7.8million project to make the streets more welcoming and the resort’s shops more vibrant.
“We are thrilled to be part of this energetic and exciting design team. We really look forward to meeting the residents and the business community of Kirkham.
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Initially, the project could only work on properties located in the conservation area. With the approval of an additional £ 6.3million in funding through the Future High Street Fund (FHSF), the scheme is being rolled out to include inner city businesses.
NWDC, specializing in listed buildings and properties, was selected to work on the project alongside Joseph Boniface Architects
A series of conceptual drawings and artist prints show what premises on Poulton Street, Preston Street and Freckleton Street could look like as part of the project. The designers used historic images of downtown Kirkham and its shops, dating back to Victorian and Edwardian times.
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This four-year plan, led by the Regeneration Department of Fylde Council, in partnership with Lancashire County Council and Kirkham City Council, also includes:
- Development of a new heritage and ecological skills center in the former Hillside restaurant
- Creation of an arts center and community cinema in the former TSB building
- The purchase of the Kirkgate Center, allowing the development of empty commercial units and the creation of new affordable housing in the city center
- Enhancement of the public domain and outdoor spaces
- Encourage businesses to relocate / settle in the city center
- Development of new restaurants and creation of a thriving and diversified nightlife economy
- Creation of a wide range of cultural and leisure activities.
For more information visit – www.kirkhamfutures.org
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