Funding for Westgate Conservation plan to be considered
Ambitious plans to help restore historic buildings in an area of Wakefield are to be discussed by councillors at a meeting on November 21.
Wakefield, Upper Westgate by Louis Grimshaw
Cabinet members are being asked to consider proposals to apply for £1.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund Townscape Heritage Programme (TH) to restore buildings in the Upper Westgate conservation area. If the application is successful, the Council would consider, at a later stage, putting approximately £500,000 into the project.
Councillors are being recommended to approve submitting an application to the TH programme for the funds to help owners to repair their buildings to a high standard, as these historic buildings are very expensive to restore and maintain.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration at Wakefield Council, said: "Westgate is an important route into Wakefield and there are a large number of buildings in the conservation area that could benefit from this additional support.
"We will discuss at the meeting the potential benefits this could bring, such as improving perception of the area and bringing with it community and economic benefits."
The Upper Westgate Conservation area combines industrial heritage with grander Victorian and Georgian buildings, providing an eclectic mix of properties. The area is known now for clubs, pubs and bars and is part of the night time economy.
The area is eligible to apply to receive funding support from the TH programme, which is designed to help communities improve conservation areas in need of investment. It supports partnerships that aim to regenerate economically disadvantaged historic areas that will benefit local residents, workers and visitors.
The Council has worked on a similar programme with the Heritage Lottery Fund, to deliver the Pontefract Townscape Heritage Initiative. This has, to-date, repaired 15 buildings in the town's market place conservation area, while a further 14 are expected to be completed before the end of the project.