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Townscape Heritage Initiative

Information about the lottery funding for St Margaret's Conservation Area

St Margaret's Conservation Area

We are delighted that our application to secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the St Margaret's Conservation Area was successful.

An award of £1million was confirmed in June 2014 for a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme. We have matched this funding, creating a £2million fund to conserve, enhance and regenerate the historic shopping streets in St Margaret's Conservation Area over the next five years.

As part of the process of applying for the grant, a detailed character appraisal of the area was carried out. And a management plan was prepared to guide its future care and protection. These documents are now available to download, and are available at the bottom of this page.

Where is the THI area?

The THI boundary area covers the traditional shopping streets of Tower St, St James' Street, Saturday Market Place and the south end of High Street.

This area has been chosen because there is a clean need:

  • for investment to get buildings repaired
  • to get empty property back into use, in order to generate increased footfall
  • to restore activity and vibrancy to the area


The money has been secured following a two-year application process, and will run for five years, until June 2019, (or until all the money is spent). All works and activities will need to be complete and all payments made by then.

What will the money be spent on?

Where the money will be spent is outlined below.

Grants to property owners

Over £1.5m from the £2m "common fund" will be available to offer grants to property owners and long-term leaseholders in the area.  The grant will be for the owners to carry out repairs and improvements to their properties.

Grant rates are generous, covering 75% of the costs in most cases.

The following types of work are eligible for funding:

  • structural and external repairs to historic buildings in use (75% grants)
  • repair and conversion for new uses of vacant or partly vacant historic buildings (the grant contribution will be individually assessed)
  • authentic restoration of architectural features, including historic shopfronts (85% grants)
  • works to repair and improve the appearance of rear boundary walls and gates (75% or 85% grants)

All building works have to be carried out using traditional materials and methods. And architectural features have to be restored to authentic historic designs.

All historic buildings in the area are, in principle, eligible for a grant. But 23 buildings, have been identified as critical or important for the success of the scheme and these will be given priority. The repair or reuse of these buildings which would significantly contribute to the preservation or enhancement of the character of the area.

Public area

Some of the funding will go towards the costs of enhancing the Saturday Market Place.

Community activities and training opportunities

Over the life of the project, there will be opportunities for:

  • learning about and celebrating the area's history
  • training opportunities for young people to explore the area's history
  • you to gain an insight into building conservation and maintenance

What happens next?

  • You are advised to complete a project enquiry form
  • You can complete the grant application form with the help of application guidance notes
  • We will let you know about Community activities using local media (papers and radio) and on this website

All our enquiry forms, and current THI documents, including news, can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please note, grants for building works will not under any circumstances be awarded retrospectively. No grant will be paid for any works which begin before a formal grant offer has been made by us, and accepted by the property owner in writing.