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Heritage bid for £3m funding for Blackburn's historic buildings
12:43pm Tuesday 5th November 2013 in News
BLACKBURN’S historic buildings and heritage will get a major makeover if a £3 million bid for National Lottery cash succeeds.
The Northgate conservation area of 150 properties will be the centre of any spending.
Council bosses hope the Townscape Heritage Initiative bid will get the cash from the Big Lottery Fund and draw in even more money from other organisations.
They want to refurbish the frontage of King George’s Hall and enable the owner’s of the Cotton Exchange, at one point the Apollo cinema, to reopen it as an entertainment or licensed/dining venue following interest from national chains in coming to Blackburn.
Blakey Moor and Town Hall Street could also benefit from the cash.
There are plans for the vacant Bentley’s building to become home of a cutting-edge technology ‘Fab Lab’, and for renovating the courts and former police station, the Italianate 1856 Town Hall and the college’s historic Victoria building if the bid is successful.
It is hoped the refurbishment of the area will lead to more empty shop premises being let with the business rate relief initiative.
Northgate’s history, dating from the Roman Road between Ribchester and Manchester, as well as its more obvious Victorian heritage, will be exploited, just as the council plans to do with the canalside Eanam Wharf recently given conservation area status.
There are also plans to boost street cleansing and litter bin emptying and enhance the current flowers beds and shrubs in the town centre.
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