The Townscape Heritage Project sits within the Northgate Conservation Area and includes Blakey Moor, Northgate and Lord Street West, Blackburn.
Historic properties within the Project Area are eligible for grant funded for repairs and restoration works. Eligible properties have been categorised in to high priority (red), medium priority (orange) and reserve (green). Grants will only be offered to reserve properties if some medium priority properties do not come forward.
Why this area?
Historically, this was a very important part of the town and home to some of the town’s key civic and education buildings. In more recent times the area has suffered from decline, with empty properties, low quality uses, anti-social behaviours and public space designed predominantly around traffic and parking.
To fully realise the regeneration ambitions for the wider town centre, investment in Blakey Moor and the surrounding area is essential. As well being one of the few areas to retain its historic footprint and many of the towns most important and beautiful heritage properties, it also provides some of the best opportunities to reinvigorate the town’s independent retail, evening economy and cultural offer.
The area is still home to number of popular cultural venues (King George’s Hall, Library, College, Leisure centre), is a key gateway between Blackburn College and University Campus and Blackburn’s retail core attracting a higher than average footfall, has low property values and business rates making it uniquely affordable for new businesses and benefits from a rich social and cultural history – including being the home of pioneer film makers, Mitchell and Kenyon.
A £3 million transformation of Blackburn’s historic heart
Blackburn town centre has seen transformational regeneration and development on a breath taking scale over the last 15 years. Kick started by a major public realm improvement programme, the town has continued to attract unprecedented investment and development despite the economic downturn and national trends of town centre decline.
This has included:
- £66 million redevelopment of the Mall shopping centre in 2011
- £30 million Cathedral Quarter Development to create a high quality mixed use scheme with new offices, restaurants and a hotel.
- £40 million Pennine Reach investment in transport including a new £6 million Bus Station
- Completion of the town’s Orbital Route with construction of the £12 million Wainwright Bridge and Wainwright Way.
- £90 million masterplan to expend Blackburn College and University Campus
- £13.5 million town centre Sports and Leisure Centre
- £9 million investment in the refurbishment of Blackburn Town Hall and Central Library
- Innovative programme of property improvement grants and a business rates incentives scheme to support the reuse of empty properties
- Establishment of Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) to support town centre businesses with £1.5 million investment per year
- Development of an impressive programme of events and cultural activities including The National Festival of Making and Blackburn Festival of Light.
An important part of the town’s long term regeneration strategy was to protect the town’s heritage assets and maximise their potential to strengthen the town’s leisure and cultural offer.
In June 2016, it was announced that Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s funding bid for a Townscape Heritage Project had been successful. A £3 million joint investment by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund is now underway to restore and reinvigorate Blackburn’s historic heart.