£8m improvements to Burslem historic buildings

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Issued: 10/4/12

For contact details for further media enquiries please see the end of the press release.

A listed heritage hotel, an Indian takeaway, and a historic pub are among the final projects to benefit from the current round of funding to improve the heritage appeal in Burslem.

In the past seven years the Burslem Townscape Heritage Initiative has supported the renovation of more than 50 historic properties to preserve the heritage appeal of the Mother Town. The work, which has received a total investment of £8million from two rounds of Townscape Heritage Initiative funding and the private sector during the period, has helped to boost trade with nearly 50 more businesses open in the town today compared to 2006.

This month work on the final few projects for this round of funding is due to start on site. They include external renovations to RAJAS Takeaway, Market Place, The Leopard Hotel, Market Place, and The Old Crown Public House, Westport Road.

Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Stoke-on-Trent City Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Burslem is an historic town and the hard work of the Burslem Townscape Heritage Initiative has meant that the town’s heritage features have been preserved and enhanced over the past few years. By renovating and enhancing the historic architecture of the buildings’ exteriors it has not only improved the town’s street scene but helped to encourage new businesses to open in the town. The end of this phase is by no means the end of work in Burslem and we are already looking at further funding to carry out additional phases of work.”

The Burslem Townscape Initiative is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Department for Business Innovation and Skills - formally Advantage West Midlands.

The scheme, which has been successful in winning two rounds of funding bids totaling £4million and match funded by building owners, is committed to improving the heritage appeal of the town by supporting businesses to renovate historic buildings to preserve the character of the area.

In total 28 buildings have already been completed in the second phase. A further six are currently on site with the final three projects due to start this month.

Due to the ongoing improvements in the town a number of property owners have also privately funded improvements to their properties. These include The Duke William, Chillz Bar, New Image, A-Z Motor Repairs, The Hair and Beauty Salon, Iron Cave, Co-op Travel, Saggers Makers, Mother Town Fish and Chips and The Vine.

Work is already underway to secure a third phase for the Burslem Townscape Initiative which could look to support the improvement of a further 8 empty buildings to attract further business to the town. In total £1.2million has already been secured from the European Regional Development Fund with bids for further match funding being sought.

Burslem has already seen an increase in businesses in the town since the scheme started with 137 recorded in 2006 compared to 182 this year.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

Contacts available for case studies of businesses who have been supported through the scheme or are now going through the scheme.
 

For further media enquiries please call Cheryl Morris at Stoke-on-Trent City Council's communications department on 01782 232130.