Properties in the Greyfriars area of Leicester city centre are set to benefit from major improvements, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Leicester City Council will receive a grant of £1.1 Million from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Townscape Heritage programme to help restore and regenerate buildings in the Greyfriars conservation area.
The five year project called, Greyfriars Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), will see at least 20 of the most important historic buildings in the area around Leicester Cathedral short-listed for grants to help pay for repairs and restoration. It will focus on buildings in New Street, Millstone Lane, Friar Lane, Wycliffe Street and parts of St Martins and Peacock Lane.
Property owners and leaseholders will be able to apply for financial support to repair building frontages, to reinstate lost architectural features such as original windows, fencing and decorative masonry, or to bring empty floor space back into use.
Leicester city council has committed £450,000 of capital funding set aside for the Leicester Economic Action Plan to support the project.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This is excellent news and I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has committed such generous support to this ambitious project”.
“Greyfriars contains many of Leicester’s historic and architectural treasures and it is essential that we continue to invest in celebrating the area’s heritage and realising its huge potential”.
“This project will make substantial funding available to businesses and property owners in Greyfriars who want to work with us to bring about lasting improvements to buildings and the wider area.”
A programme of events and activities to promote a wider understanding of the history of the area and its buildings will also be taking place.
Vanessa Harbar, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “Our city centres are full of important heritage, built up over centuries and giving a place its unique character. We’re pleased to support this project that will give Leicester’s Greyfriars area some much-needed attention and revitalise its historic buildings”.
“Combined with other improvements in the area, and the opening of the new King Richard III Visitor Centre, this scheme will help mark Leicester out as a destination for outstanding heritage.”
According to the city council, the Greyfriars THI will tie in with thier Connecting Leicester programme, which has seen the construction of Cathedral Gardens and Jubilee Square, improvements to Guildhall Lane and Applegate and the creation of the new King Richard III Visitor Centre.
A new management plan and conservation area appraisal for Greyfriars was formally adopted by Leicester City Council last month, following a six-week public consultation. The project should help identify what is special about the Greyfriars area, what should be conserved and how the area will be managed in future.