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Peterborough City Council and Opportunity Peterborough have successfully secured £105,000 from English Heritage to protect and restore some of the Georgian and Victorian architecture in a key part of the City Centre Conservation Area, Cowgate.
The Partnerships Schemes in Conservation Areas (PSICA) will aim to enhance the heritage in Cowgate by restoring and preserving the historic shop fronts and façades, helping to complement the work that is ongoing in the city centre to improve Peterborough’s public realm.
The city council will also be investing £100,000 over the three-year scheme and further funding will be secured from the private sector in partnership with local businesses.
The programme will focus on the Georgian and Victorian architecture in the Cowgate area, as it offers the best opportunity for enhancement and has been identified as a ‘Conservation Area at Risk’ by English Heritage. The scheme will deliver appropriate and sympathetic enhancements to the historic area.
Greg Luton, director of East Anglia English Heritage said: “English Heritage is pleased to be an equal partner with Peterborough City Council in this exciting project for Cowgate. This will build on the successful improvements to the public realm now nearing completion in Cathedral Square and St John’s Square, and will see the benefits of heritage lead regeneration for an important and historic link between the city centre and the railway station.’
The grant programme (PSICA – Partnership Schemes in Conservation Areas) will create economic, as well as aesthetic benefits, as it will focus shop-front enhancements on key shopping areas. At present Cowgate is affected by relatively higher levels of shop unit vacancy.
Steve Bowyer, head of economic development at Opportunity Peterborough said: “This is a great result and reflects the work that the heritage regeneration officer has been doing in the city. Not only will the work enhance the setting to the new St John’s Square, but in creating more attractive and more active shop-fronts it will help to draw in further high-profile restaurants and retailers.”
Councillor Matthew Lee, heritage champion and Deputy Leader of Peterborough City Council, welcomed the contribution from English Heritage and the City Council’s commitment.
He said: “Cowgate is a fantastic historic street in the city, but does not contribute as strongly as it could to the city economy. It could be a key route from the railway station to the newly enhanced Cathedral Square, and should be a destination in its own right for its shops, bars and restaurants. I am delighted that this partnership with English Heritage will enable us to enhance a street that should be seen as one of the city’s assets.”
The scheme will start in April 2011. Interested businesses in the target area should register interest and enquiries with the city council’s conservation officer, Jim Daley on (01733 453522) or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.