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Preston architects to help restore Kirkham’s historic high street

Posted on - 11th December, 2021 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Fylde News, History, Kirkham, Preston News, Redevelopment
The DC and MG team in Kirkham

Three Lancashire architects will help restore Kirkham high street under a new scheme led by Fylde Council.

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Over 35 property owners have signed up to Fylde Borough Council’s Shop Front Improvement Scheme, launched after Kirkham was designated a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) by Historic England.

The regeneration department has appointed Kirkham-based DC and MG Associates, North West Design Collective (NWDC) of Preston, in partnership with Blackpool-based Joseph Boniface Architects, to undertake the work.

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An artist’s impression of the new Poulton Street compared to the old

DC and MG Associates Director Mick Goode said: â€śBeing selected to work on this exciting scheme in our hometown means a great deal to us.

“As architects, we are very keen to see how we can help assist the meaningful regeneration of Kirkham’s businesses.

“This huge opportunity given by the HS HAZ investment can be the next step in making Kirkham a thriving place to live, work and visit.”

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An artist’s impression of the new Poulton Street

Grants covering up to 90 per cent of the design and build costs of the specialist restoration work are available to businesses to help reinstate historic features, including timber sash windows, slate roofs, timber shop fronts, brickwork pointing and guttering.

Organisers hope the restoration work can begin as early as February 2022.

The Shop Front Improvement Scheme is part of the ÂŁ10m Kirkham Futures regeneration master plan, which aims to breathe life into the town centre by restoring high street buildings and improving the public realm.

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An artist’s impression of the new Poulton Street

Organisers hope that the refurbished shopfronts and removal of unsightly building alterations will brighten the high street and create a look and feel more in keeping with Kirkham’s historic market town status.

The architects are now working with shop owners and tenants whose buildings are within the central Conservation Area, covering Poulton Street, Church Street, Preston Street and Freckleton Street.

DC and MG Associates have worked on several conservation projects in their hometown, such as the Pugin-designed Willows Church restoration and Michael’s Church’s spire.

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An artist’s impression of the new Poulton Street compared to the old

NWDC Conservation Architect and Director Jill Cowgill said: â€śThere are grants available to cover up to 90 per cent of the restoration and upgrading frontage works, so this is a fantastic opportunity for the business community of Kirkham.

“Joseph Boniface Architects and NWDC have worked together in the past on the Blackpool Quality Corridor scheme – a ÂŁ7.8m project to make streets more welcoming and shops in the resort more vibrant.

“We are delighted to be part of this energetic and exciting design team. We are really looking forward to meeting with the residents and business community of Kirkham.”

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Initially, the project could only work on properties within the Conservation Area. Thanks to the approval of a further ÂŁ6.3m in funding through the Future High Street Fund (FHSF), the scheme is being rolled out to include businesses across the town centre.

NWDC, who have a specialism working on listed and buildings and properties, has been selected to work on the project alongside Joseph Boniface Architects

A series of conceptual designs and artist impressions show how premises on Poulton Street, Preston Street and Freckleton Street could look like as part of the scheme. Designers used historical images of Kirkham town centre and its shops, dating from Victorian and Edwardian times.

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This four-year plan, led by Fylde Council’s Regeneration Department, in partnership with Lancashire County Council and Kirkham Town Council, also includes:

  • Developing a new Heritage and Eco Skills Centre in the former Hillside restaurant
  • Creation of an Arts Centre and Community Cinema in the former TSB building
  • The purchase of the Kirkgate Centre, allowing for the development of empty shop units and the creation of new affordable town centre housing
  • The enhancement of the public realm and outdoor spaces
  • Encouraging businesses to relocate/set up in the town centre
  • Development of new restaurants and creation of a thriving and diverse night-time economy
  • Creation of a wide range of cultural and leisure activities.

For more information, visit – www.kirkhamfutures.org



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