Prioritising the Funding
Each property was assessed during the application for the Townscape Heritage Scheme and given a priority rating. Each property has been classed as either “High Priority”, Medium Priority” or “Reserve”. The assessment was undertaken by a team of qualified professionals including a structural engineer specialising in conservation, a FDC Conservation Officer, representatives from Historic England and members of the project Core Team.
A number of factors were considered when rating the properties. These included:
- Current Condition of the Building
- Was the building at risk or vulnerable?
- Is the building listed or a building of Local Interest
- What buildings or group, when improved would make the biggest impact on the High Street.
The buildings which were identified as High Priority are the gap site at No 24 and No’s 11 and 12 High Street – both of which have suffered either almost complete or actual collapse. The project is working had with the owner and agent for 11-12 and with the design team for 24 to get these sites developed and back into use.
The Townscape Heritage Officer is working closely with the owners of the Medium Priority sites and encouraging them to take advantage of the funding of up to 65% for repairs to their buildings. Eligible repairs include works to :
- Shopfonts (repair or sympathetic replacement) (see Wisbech Shopfront Guidance Doc at the bottom of this page)
- Repairs to chimneys, roofs, leadwork, stone and brickwork, re-pointing, paint removal, redecoration, repair to ironwork, repair/replacement of render etc
Advice will be given by the Conservation Officer on the Core Team regarding suitable repairs, materials and the use of professional craftsmen qualified for working on historic buildings.
The remaining Reserve Properties will benefit from any funds left once the High and Medium properties have been addressed.
Who can Apply?
To be eligible for the scheme you need to meet the following requirements:
- Your property needs to be located on Wisbech High Street
- You need to be the Freehold owner or Long-term Leaseholder (with at least 10 years remaining)
- If you are a leaseholder with less than 10 years remaining, then the landlord must join in the grant application and agree to the conditions.
The Application Process
All owners and long-term leaseholders on the High Street have been contacted by Taleyna Fletcher, the Townscape Heritage Officer for the project.
After talking through the scheme, the applicants are invited to fill in an initial enquiry form outlining the repairs needed and an estimated cost.
Next the applicants need to work up the project in detail, applying for statutory consents were required and if necessary, submit a planning application. For a grant over £30 000, applicants need to appoint a professional advisor to develop the proposals and manage works on site.
The next stage is to complete a Grant Application Form and supporting documentation and detailed costs to the THO. The application will be assessed by the Project Core Team in consultation with the HLF.
If the application is successful and the Grant is awarded then an offer letter will be issued outlining the agreed works and the grant percentage offered. A contract will then need to be signed by the applicant.
The Pay-back terms
For grants of over £30 000, the grant contract period will be 10 years. If the property is sold within this period, some of the grant will need to be repaid.
Heritage Related Activities
Alongside the High Street building improvements there will be a series of heritage-related activities for local community learning and participation. These include photographic workshops, heritage construction skills courses and archaeological investigation and recording. Find out more…