Alston Moor Partnership has received a confirmed grant of £1.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Alston Townscape Heritage scheme, it was announced today.
The total project will cost in the region of £1.7m with funding also provided by Eden District Council, Alston Moor Parish Council and individual contributions. The scheme aims to improve a number of architecturally important properties on Front Street & Market Street within Alston’s conservation area. The project also includes a varied programme of heritage events within the community alongside more specific skills and training opportunities over the next five years.
The funding will allow the improvement and regeneration of a number of historic town centre properties and shops, with works such as reinstating traditional windows and shop-fronts. It will also improve the look and user friendliness of the ‘streetscape’ in the town centre resulting in a more attractive environment for people to work, live in and to visit. It will help to give a much needed boost to the local economy and increase business confidence, bringing more visitors into the town as well as encouraging residents to make more use of their local shops and town centre.
A full programme of activities and events are planned in the local community, including heritage skills fairs, stone festivals, heritage & skills workshops, energy efficiency sessions, and building & property tours. Any volunteers are more than welcome to get involved. There are also a number of training opportunities for local tradespeople, builders and contractors, with over twenty heritage skills training events planned and the opportunity to access recognised formal training in areas such as traditional building repairs, cobbling and working with lime.
A launch event will be held in the summer to celebrate securing the Heritage Lottery Fund grant and let people know about the full programme of events and opportunities to get involved.
Sonia Kempsey, Chair of Alston Moor Partnership said: “I’m delighted that all our hard work has paid off and HLF have awarded us funding to help ensure our historic town centre will continue to thrive. In particular I’d like to thank Eden District Council and Alston Moor Parish Council for their support, without which this wouldn’t have been possible, and also a big thank you to our excellent project manager, Jennifer Campbell, and our financial manager, Aileen Ellwood who were both essential in ensuring that we put in a successful bid.”
Sara Hilton, Head of HLF North West, said: “We’re delighted to support this exciting project to protect the unique character and strengthen the local economy of Alston’s historic heart. This brilliant community partnership, as well as investment of National Lottery players’ money, will also provide opportunities for local residents and tradespeople to gain skills, pride and involvement in the future of their town.”
David Hymers MBE, Economy Portfolio Holder/Council Member For Alston Moor, Eden District Council said: “I would like to congratulate Alston Moor Partnership on their success. I am delighted that through working with the partnership and providing match funding of £50,000 we have been able to secure this significant investment in Alston Moor.”