Funding to restore the town’s heritage

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Restoration work is taking place on old buildings and streets in Blyth town centre thanks to nearly half a million pounds of funding.

The town centre has started to be revived by a Heritage Lottery Fund regeneration programme to restore old buildings and streets.

The Blyth Central Conservation Area Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has helped to bring historic commercial buildings back to life, and to date has awarded £530,000 of grant funding for five commercial buildings in the conservation area.

The Central Conservation Area of Blyth has great heritage merit, with a number of fine commercial properties and the THI has aided the repair and restoration work to help restore that special character.

The buildings and businesses that have benefited from the grant funding most recently include: Frameworks, the Maharaja’s Lounge on Bridge Street which is a Grade II Listed, The Beauty Factory and Rickard Chartered Surveyors on Havelock Street.

The THI building grant funding is helping to enhance the conservation area and town centre environment.

Dave Ledger, Arch chair and deputy leader of Northumberland Council, said: “The THI project is now substantially complete and the quality of design and craftsmanship has been very high.

“Arch’s development will help create a more enjoyable environment when travelling and shopping in Blyth town centre.”

The THI grant has helped to transform the external building of Frameworks.

Frameworks owner Angela Cosimini said: “Our most precious treasure of all is our heritage which has an enormous impact on the way the business is run, whether it is products, techniques or simply precision, finesse and attention to detail.

“Frameworks is an infusion of past and present with a pianist playing the mini grand piano in the corner serenading young and old with tunes from times gone by, whilst customers explore two floors of the Victorian building.

“We are thrilled to match the grandeur on the outside of our building with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.”