Investment of £1.25m is to be spent on repairing a number of Poole’s historic buildings and public spaces – and you can become involved.
It is all part of the town’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) which is a partnership between Historic England and BCP Council.
Poole town centre has 35 listed buildings and many locally listed buildings in the Poole HSHAZ area alone. However, several historic properties on the High Street have fallen into disrepair or have been changed unsympathetically, for example through modern shop fronts or poor signage, eroding the character of the area.
Through the HSHAZ scheme, improvements are being made to the physical condition of the High Street to create an environment that is attractive to residents, visitors and businesses.
Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director at Historic England, said: “We’re delighted to see such great progress in Poole. The transformation of these characterful buildings and the public realm will have a hugely positive effect on the town centre, and showcase what good repair and the reinstatement of historic features can do to boost the local area.”
Cllr Beverley Dunlop, portfolio holder for Culture and Vibrant Places, BCP Council said: “The history and character of Poole High Street is significant and incredibly important to local residents and businesses. It is a joy to see investment on this scale committed to the restoration of important buildings that celebrate Poole’s maritime heritage and revitalise its old town charm.”
The projects currently under way include:
- Scaplen’s Court. Historic England has funded specialist works to this Grade I listed building. Albion Stonemasons are cleaning and re-pointing the late 15th and early 16th century internal walls, fireplaces and doorways using lime mortars and specialist conservation materials. The stonemasons have identified original wall features which will be retained for the public to see, and the team are also restoring and securing an original wattle and daub wall panel. The ceiling and fireplace timbers are being cleaned to remove smoke damage caused by decades of using open fireplaces that warmed the living quarters of this beautiful historic dwelling.
- 2 High Street. The walls have been re-decorated and new hand-written signage and windows are being replaced at this 18th century Grade II listed building to be more sympathetic to its historic character.
- Grade II listed Cinnamon House, 24-26 High Street. The roofs of this pair of 18th century houses, now shops, have been repaired and gutters and downpipes have been replaced. A new gate to the side passage and handrail have replaced modern materials.
- Grade II listed Cornmarket House, 34-36 High Street dates to around 1830 and is undergoing structural repairs. Replacement shop windows and a new fascia and signage are being installed.
- Renewal of the ground floor interiors of Grade II listed 1-3 New Orchard is complete, including the discovery of a fireplace. The shopfront has been redecorated and signage is complete. Local Carter’s tiles have been revealed on the stall-riser – the part of the shop front below the show window.
- The Grade II listed Thai Pantry Café at 5-9 New Orchard has been re-decorated and new signage pinned in individual lettering over the door.
There are also improvements to the public spaces, including:
- New Purbeck stone paving linking the two entrances to Poole Museum and Scaplen’s Court.
- New Windsor style wall lanterns and 50 new lanterns for the newly re-decorated lamp posts that are a distinct feature of the High Street. The lanterns will have in-built alert systems to inform the lighting teams of any malfunctioning. They have been partially match-funded by the Poole BID, which is actively supporting the HSHAZ.
The next buildings scheduled for repair are 9-11 High Street and Grand Parade and 20 High Street. Repairs to 153 High Street are to be confirmed.
And local people can become involved.
Alongside the physical improvements to the town centre, Poole High Street Heritage Action Zone is running a cultural programme offering people who use and visit Poole High Street the opportunity to get involved with its fascinating heritage and culture. A series of workshops and public engagement events are starting soon, including some hosted creative and fact-finding activities and an exhibition of school children’s work with a Discovery Trail event 23-31 July. Find out more and book tickets by visiting www.poolehighstreetculture.co.uk.
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