Region: South West
Owner Type: Many
Funding Body: HERS; Public; Private
Year of Intervention: 1999 - 2002
Summary: Bideford historic port-restoring the shops and boosting the local economy through the aid of the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS).
Description: The historic port of Brideford in Devon has a population of 14,000 and straddles the east and west banks of the tidal River Torridge. A medieval long bridge links the two banks, with the majority of the town’s commercial activity focused on the west bank.
Issue: All of the town’s commercial activities, including shopping, banking and restaurants, are located within a conservation area that for years had been blighted by empty property. The centre has suffered commercial decline in the face of competition from large centres and out-of-town developments, and changing consumer demands. The historic fabric of the town reflects the deterioration in the local economy.
Strategy: The HERS focuses on the conservation area on the westbank, which was designated in 1972. This was funded by £92,376 of English Heritage grant, which levered an additional £267,302 of public and private sector funding. The conservation area contains approximately 800 properties, over 25% of which are listed buildings. The HERS targeted specific buildings within three distinct areas: the quay, the town centre and St Mary’s Church environs, with the aim of repairing and bringing back into sustainable economic use property that was either empty or in partial use.
Outcome: During the three-year life of the scheme, 20 buildings received grant aid, creating 17 new units of residential accommodation, improving 16 existing units and refurbishing 15 ground floor commercial properties, including 11 shops, one office, two speciality café/restaurants and themed public house. 17 full-time jobs were created and a further 25 part-time jobs.
Keywords: Funding, Regeneration, Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration
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