What is a Townscape Heritage Project and Why Padiham?
A townscape heritage project is a heritage-led regeneration programme funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), a funding scheme that public sector organisations (like Burnley Council) can apply to with the aim to deliver physical improvements to historic town centres in need of investment.
Padiham is recognised for having a special interest both locally and regionally from its underlying medieval footprint from which a Victorian townscape grew, making the historic core of Padiham unique within the Borough. Padiham has a lovely market town feel with some stunning architecture and specialist independent retailers.
There were areas of concern within the town centre due to the dilapidated condition of some buildings and vacancy rates. However, this heritage is extremely important to the people of Padiham who wanted to see it looked after and sustained. And so, in response, Burnley Borough Council made an application for funding the NLHF to address these threats and were successful in securing funding for a Padiham Townscape Heritage (TH) in 2017.
Padiham’s Townscape Heritage Scheme
Grant funding of £1.4 million was awarded to Burnley Borough Council to deliver a Townscape Heritage programme in Padiham, matched by a further contribution of £600,000 from Burnley Council and other sources. The Padiham TH scheme focussed on a compact area of Padiham along a section of Burnley Rd, known locally as ‘The Hill’.
The Hill boosts a beautiful streetscape, characterful in the variety of types and sizes of properties reflecting the development through the 19th Century, from simple pre-industrial cottages to grand commercial buildings with ornate architectural detailing.
But The Hill (categories as 3 terraced blocks) was an area within Padiham’s town centre clearly in need of intervention, due to the high number of vacancies in commercial units and upper floors, and the physical state and appearance of some of the buildings, which had fallen into a very poor state of repair.
The Padiham TH set out to deliver 3 key interventions to bring about positive change to the area:
- Repair and Restoration Works to buildings – Through grant funding offered to property owners to undertake repair and restoration works to buildings within the project boundary with a focus on restoring original features/details to properties.
- Public Realm Works – upgrading of paving and highway surfaces, the introduction of traffic calming measures and incorporation of public art.
- Community Engagement – To deliver a series of events and activities throughout the lifetime of the scheme to engage the local community in the heritage and culture of the area including heritage skills training.
The project is now nearing completion.