Southport Townscape Heritage Project
Bringing Southport’s built heritage back to life
At the end of 2019, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) awarded £1.6 million towards a £2.5 million investment in Southport Townscape Heritage Project, a heritage-led initiative to regenerate Southport’s historic town centre over five years. Sefton Council and Southport BID, with support from partners such as Southport Civic Society and The Atkinson, led the successful funding bid and are now – after understandable delays in 2020 – overseeing a programme of property grants for historic buildings, skills training and community activities.
The project focuses on the four key streets linking Southport town centre and the Marine Lake attractions – Coronation Walk, Scarisbrick Avenue, Nevill Street and Bold Street – which sit within the Lord Street and Promenade Conservation Areas. The regeneration work will complement the NLHF-funded restoration of Kings Gardens and Coastal Communities-funded refurbishment of the Pier and the further improvements proposed as part of the Southport Town Deal.
The funded activities include:
- Structural and external repair of historic buildings, restoring and reinstating features such as traditional shopfronts and windows;
- Works to bring vacant floor space back into use.
Heritage and community activities
- Training for building owners and construction professionals or students in the correct methods for the repair and maintenance of historic buildings;
- Community events and activities to engage people with Southport’s built heritage, including family trails, schools’ resources, Heritage Open Days events, an exhibition at The Atkinson and a strong social media presence.
The aims of the project are to enhance the links between the town centre and the seafront, increase footfall and economic activity within the target area and reduce the number of vacant and poorly maintained properties.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has approved a target list (see below) of over 40 buildings clustered around the four streets. This followed extensive initial surveys carried out at the first round of the project, and further selection against the strict criteria of conservation deficit, vacancy, townscape impact, heritage value, which were then matched against owner interest. Each target building has been allocated a priority and discussions are underway with owners and occupiers to progress and approve plans for grant-aided work.
This will enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the Seafront so that the two become better integrated, increasing the levels of economic activity within the target area to reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.
Alongside the investment in buildings, a programme of activities is being developed. The initial focus is on engaging people digitally with Southport’s historic buildings and seaside heritage, via social media and the development of a website. Downloadable trails and activities are being developed and communities and building owners are being invited to get involved in the national Heritage Open Days festival each September. Resources and workshops for schools and colleges are also planned.
For more information about the project see the downloads below:
|Southport Townscape Heritage Booklet 2019||(pdf 6.4MB)|
|Southport Townscape Heritage Project – target buildings||(pdf 166KB)|
Interested in getting involved?
If you are a new, or potential, owner or occupier of one of the target historic buildings in the project area or would like to be kept up to date with the grant-funded building work and opportunities, please contact the project manager, Paul Crowther, by email at Paul.Crowther@sefton.gov.uk or telephone 07971 811753.
If you are interested in Heritage Open Days, volunteering with the project activities, getting a community or educational group involved, or have ideas for events to engage people with Southport’s historic buildings, please contact the activities co-ordinator, Sue Latimer, by email at Sue.Latimer@sefton.gov.uk or telephone 07816 114885.
You’ll find plenty of information about the project, the target buildings and streets, and downloadable activities on the Southport Townscape project website. You can also find out about events and the latest project news on the website, or by signing up to our newsletter, following us on Twitter @SouthportTHP or joining our public Facebook group SouthportTHP.