Funding for restoration of buildings

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A town centre which has seen a number of major businesses close in recent months has landed a major cash injection.

Blyth town centre is set to be revived thanks to a £1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore old buildings and streets.

The Blyth Central Conservation Area Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is bring ing historic commercial buildings back to life, and has been awarded £275,000 funding for four commercial buildings.

The buildings to benefit are Frameworks, the former Lloyds Bank in Bridge Street, which is a Grade II listed building, The Beauty Factory and Rickard Chartered Surveyors in Havelock Street.

The businesses have provided £65,000 of private sector investment into the scheme.

The building works are set to start this month with completion expected late summer.

The restoration works have been designed by John Curtis of Napper Architects, and will include reinstatement of architectural features.

Development group Arch is leading the investment to Blyth bus station, where work is due to be completed in April.

Angela Cosimini, Frameworks owner, said: “Our most precious treasure of all is our heritage, which has an enormous impact on the way the business is run, this philosophy has been handed down to me by my father Peter Cosimini, having served the people of Blyth for over 40 years.

“We constantly get asked to open Frameworks in another town or city, my reply is that we want people to come to Blyth to see that is where we belong.

“We are very proud of the adoring accolades in our visitors’ book both locally and worldwide, and we know that when they talk about Frameworks they talk about Blyth.”

“We have achieved this on the inside of the shop and we are now glad we have the opportunity to match the grandeur on the outside of the building with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.”

Arch group managing director Peter McIntyre said: “Now that the first THI project is complete and the bus station works are taking shape, this has helped to show the vision of the THI and expected standard in terms of high quality design and craftsmanship.”