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03.11.05
Restoration Work Starts On Historic Buildings

Work has recently started on properties in Redruth as part of a £1.8 million grant scheme to restore historic buildings in the town centre.

Over the next few months, the former Bartles shop at 36 Fore Street and the offices of Abbott & Wickett and the Malayan Tin Dredging Company on Station Road, (now known as Sebastian House) will undergo major repair and restoration work.

Grants available through the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme, (HERS) will help bring vacant floor space in these targeted properties back into use. Using high quality local materials and traditional techniques, the roof and slate hanging at 36 Fore Street are to be replaced in Cornish slate and an original first floor bay window to be reinstated. The ground floor will remain a retail unit and the upper floors will be converted to residential use. At Sebastian House repairs to windows, walls and roofs will help safeguard its long term future as offices.

Councillor Mark Kaczmarek, Kerrier District Council's Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: "It's smart thinking to make the most of Redruth's excellent, historic architecture as we look to build a prosperous future for the town. I'm delighted that these buildings are being restored to their former glory, and brought back into active use."

Councillor Graeme Hicks, Kerrier's Portfolio Holder for the Environment, agreed: "I would encourage owners of any building eligible for the scheme to act sooner rather than later, and make the most of this excellent opportunity. There's money waiting! Everything possible should be done to protect these important buildings for future generations."

The HERS, which is administered and part funded by Kerrier District Council, aims to protect vulnerable historic buildings in the town centre, while encouraging empty buildings back into use, benefiting the local economy. The other co-investors include English Heritage, Objective One (European Regional Development Fund), Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Redruth Town Council and Cornwall County Council.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "These schemes targeting town centres, conserve and improve Cornwall's historic character and help to provide the environment for business growth. Objective One has invested in similar regeneration schemes across the region and the benefits are already apparent with business taking advantage of the improvements and generating extra sales."

David Stuart, of the Scheme's main investors, English Heritage, said: "We are extremely pleased that all the work carried out by the HERS team and their local partners is beginning to bear fruit. This is an important project in an important initiative for the town and we strongly believe that this as the first project to come forward will be followed by many others during the lifetime of the scheme."

Launched last year, the scheme has seen a healthy level of interest from property owners in the town and grant offers for a number of other priority buildings are in the pipeline.

Vicky Brewis, HERS Community Agent, urged property owners in the town centre to come forward in order to take advantage of the grants available. She added: "It is important for anyone wanting to start building works next spring and summer to consider submitting an application as soon as possible to allow for an adequate lead in time."

Together with the street works that have recently started on Fore Street and Symons Terrace as part of the Public Realm scheme, bringing these key properties back into use will contribute to securing the long term vitality of the town.

For further information please contact Vicky Brewis, HERS Community Agent, on 01209 614093 or email: vicky.brewis@kerrier.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Redruth HERS through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Editor's notes:

HERS is funded by English Heritage, Objective One (European Regional Development Fund), Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Kerrier District Council, Redruth Town Council and Cornwall County Council. The scheme also works in partnership with the Camborne Pool Redruth Urban Regeneration Company and the Redruth Regeneration Group.

The total value of the scheme is £1.8 million, including a £600,000 private sector contribution. There is, therefore, a £1.2 million fund available to help with the repair and restoration of the historic fabric of buildings and structures within the Conservation Area. Help from the fund will be in the form of conditional grants to the owners of qualifying buildings, to ensure that appropriate design, materials and workmanship are specified.

Normally, qualifying grants will be offered between 50% and 75% of the cost of eligible work, including VAT when not recoverable, and professional fees when an appropriately qualified consultant is employed for the duration of a project.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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