Major improvement works are set to begin on four dilapidated Wisbech High Street properties before Christmas after Fenland District Council yesterday (14 December) agreed the largest grant to be awarded through the Wisbech High Street Project.
The Council's Cabinet rubber stamped a £518,000 grant towards significant repairs and residential conversion works at 13-17 High Street.
It follows agreement from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to support the works through the Council's Wisbech High Street Project. The project is part of The Heritage Fund's Townscape Heritage Scheme, which is made possible thanks to National Lottery players.
The grant will help fund a major improvement scheme which includes bringing a derelict first floor back into use for the first time in more than 30 years.
It will also carry out a considerable programme of external repairs to the fabric of the buildings and reintroduce new shopfronts which are more sympathetic to the age and character of the area.
Council officers have been working with the owner of 13-17 High Street since the start of the Wisbech High Street Project in 2017 to develop an improvement scheme and secure a grant to assist with the necessary works.
It is anticipated that works will begin on site before Christmas, with the improvements expected to be complete by Autumn 2021.
Cllr Chris Seaton, the Council's Portfolio Holder for Social Mobility and Heritage, said: "The Townscape Heritage Scheme is all about encouraging effective partnerships between local authorities, owners and small businesses so that repairs and restoration work can be carried out to improve the UK's high streets and conservation areas, and this scheme at 13-17 Wisbech High Street is a fantastic example of that.
"The grant offered will address significant issues with the properties and bring back into use an underutilised and attractive retail and residential premises. It will make a significant positive impact on the regeneration of the High Street and further enhance works already underway and those planned too."