The Bacup THI has now drawn to a close in June 2019 after the completion of its 5 years of delivery.
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What is the THI Project?Find out more
What is the THI Project?
The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is a grant scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to refurbish buildings in historic town centres. The scheme includes property improvements, public realm enhancement, skills training and community engagement events.
In 2013 Rossendale Borough Council was successful in securing £2m funding through the HLF for a 5 year regeneration project which will focus on Bacup’s unique built and cultural heritage.
To find out more and view the latest updates and on the progress of the project please click here. The project is managed by Rossendale Borough Council. You can find all the latest Council news, including news on the THI Project, here.
Which Buildings are in the Project?Find out more
What is being grant funded?Find out more
What is being grant funded?
Properties in the THI are being restored and improved using appropriate heritage construction techniques. The works being carried out include; replacing unsympathetic shopfronts with new shopfronts based on historic research, building repairs and reinstatement of architectural details (e.g. reinstating timber sash windows, stonework repair, repairing stone slate roofs and chimney stacks, repairing traditional gutters and cast iron rainwater pipes), and in some cases carrying out internal structural repairs.
Preliminary works prior to the grant being agreed included bat surveys, asbestos surveying, structural surveys and planning applications.
Property owners who participate in the scheme will receive a grant of up to 90% of the costs of carrying out these works. In return they are asked to sign up to Rossendale Council project managing the works using it’s appointed team of conservation architects, quantity surveyors and building contractors. This is to ensure that the works are designed and constructed to an appropriate heritage standard.
Where a property was vacant a 'conservation deficit' calculation was made to determine the owner contribution costs. This was based on the agreed, priced works and the impact that it would have on the building.
Properties within the town centre were allocated critical, priority or reserve status and the owners were approached and asked if they would like to be part of the project.
What is happening with the Project?Find out more
What is happening with the Project?
The Bacup Townscape Heritage Initiative is nearing completion and after 5 years of successful delivery is due to close on the 30th June 2019. Since the project started 15 properties have seen extensive building repairs and artchitectural features, of these 4 properties where brought back from derelict vacant states into viable commercial premises. Of these 4 properties, 2 now have tenants.
A run down of the properties included in the THI project are:
Pioneer, REAL and 33-3 St James Street (excluding 19, 17 and 11 St James Street)
Phase One: 33 St James Street is a prominent building on the corner of Union Street and St James Street occupied by a RSPCA charity shop. Built as a purpose designed shop constructed during the mid Victorian period it as recently undergone extensive restoration and enhancement works delivered as part of the Bacup THI.
The approved works include the installation of new shop fronts based on authentic Victorian era shop front designs. The new shop front installation has included the provision of new timber signage fascias designed as part of an integrated shop front surround including timber cornices, consoles and pilasters. The new signage fascia’s, and proposed signage, replace a number of large white acrylic fascia signs previously fixed above external roller shutter boxes removed as part of the THI improvement works.
Pioneer Building is an important landmark building at the gateway to Bacup town centre on Rochdale Road. It was constructed by the Bacup Co-operative Society and opened as a department store in 1914. The buildings as recently undergone extensive restoration and enhancement works delivered through the Bacup THI.
These works include the installation of new shop fronts based on the orgininal shop front designs for the building from 1914. The new shop front installation as included the provision of new timber fascias that reinstate the orginal location for shop signage on the building frontage. These have replaced a continuous large white acrylic fascia with aluminium trim running the full length of the building, and individual shop signs in a variety of styles that obscured key areas of shop frontages allowing clearstorey glazing to be reinstated.
Watch a short video to hear comments from one of the properties completed in Phase 1 here.
Phase 2: has been completed. Many of the properties along St James Street have new Victorian style hardwood shop fronts, and new sash windows. The buildings have seen inappropriate and deteriorating mortar hacked out and the stonework cleaned. Once prepped they have been repointed using a hot lime mortar mix, a traditional mortar favoured for its ability to reduce damp ingress and to allow the building to breathe. All of the shop fronts have been painted in traditional colours from historic Bacup streetscenes. The colour for each building has been specifically chosen by the Conservation Officer and represents the types of colours used through the years by specific businesses; each building is as unique now as when it was being built.
Phase 3a and 3b: works are complete with some minor snagging ongoing. The transformation has been outstanding. The shops are evolving on a daily basis and the building repairs are now almost complete. Continuing the sucess of the second phase of properties, the remaining buildings along St James Street have also seen their architectural features restored. Another feature that has been included is the ornate gates and railings manufactured and installed by local company, Park Mill Engineering, which has replaced the roller shutters for the external protection of the building. These gates and railings sit along side thicker, tougher glass and also internal lattice shutters.
Here is Steve, from Broxton Signs (based in Weir), using the traditional method of hand painting the sign for D&A Gregory & Sons.
The THI project is also working in partnership with Lancashire County Council to deliver a public realm improvement scheme. Please click here for more information. The public realm enhancements were completed in Novemeber 2018. The feedback from the changes and enhancements has been very complementary Bacup Town centre has become a much more pedestrian friendly town for residents and visitors alike.
Here are some before and after photos of some of the Phase 3 properties. The transformation is striking.
9 St James Street - JD Discounts - the largest shop front on St James Street, the angular shop front was brought square with the pavement and painted a rich Chesnut brown. The windows were replaced with hard wood sash windows and trhe building stone work extensiely cleaned and re-pointed with the hot lime mortar mix. Roof works and other building repairs were also completed.
13 St James Street - G & J Domestics has a new timber, Victorian style shop front and new timber pilasters with a glazed, moulded, timber panel Victorian style door. The hand painted sign has been completed. The ornate gates and railings have been finished in Slate Grey and sit perfectly against the Leaf Green of the shop front. The weighted sash windows, cleaned stonework and traditional hot lime mix pointing finishes the look.
What activities are going on?Find out more
What activities are going on?
Community Engagement: Improving the knowledge and appreciation of the unique history and built heritage of Bacup through providing a wide range of community activities and heritage construct skills training for local people, building owners, local construction professionals and trades-people, is key to the success of the THI.
For example this built heritage is characterised by coursed local stone, stone flagged roofs, prominent chimney stacks, traditional sash windows and distinctive weavers windows. It is important that local building owners and trades-people are aware of the techniques involved in restoring and repairing these features, and that local people are aware of their value, as their loss would have a significant effect on the character of Bacup.
You can get involved in the THI by joining one of our community activity events or heritage skills training courses held throughout each year of the project.
Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in any of the upcoming events or call the THI Project Officer on 01706 252477.
The History and Architecture of Bacup: A walk took place on the evening of Tuesday 19th June lead by local Historian and author Kathy Fishwick. The walk started on Lee Street and was attended by 10 individuals, some local and others visiting the area. Following a pre planned route, Kathy guided us through the years from Medieval times to the present day. The route looked at some of the examples of the beautiful architecture we have here in Bacup, the Pioneer building and the REAL building being just two examples.
Street names, the routes of the original crossroads and the paths of the Irwell and Greave as they pass beneath our feet were brought to life.The walk was a great success and we are hoping to have another, similar walk towards the end of the Summer.
Mosaic & QR Trail: after an initial meeting back in April, the THI are pleased to be working with another local artist, Christine Worswick, of the Wooden Horse Arts Studio. Together the THI and Christine are delivering a hand made mosaic trail incorportating a QR code. After decideing on a route round the town centre, a number of buildings and features were choosen to be represented in mosaic form.
There is also a second part to this project and it involves the newly established Creative Writing Group. This is a group that began in February 2018 and is a small group formed of like minded people who have an interest in creative stories, songs and poetry. The idea of the group was help, support and encourage people in their wrtings and also as a plateform for them to share them. The group initally met once two weeks but after starting the project now meet weekely alternating between the Bacup Library and Bacup Natural History Society.
Black Smith Sessions: Three black smith sessions were delivered at Stubblylee Greenhouses at the start of June. These sessions were divided into three sessions over three seperate days. the first session, attended by 10 individuals and gave the attendees a potted history of black smiths, metallurgy, a working forge and also an opportunity to have a go at forging a piece of metal. The health and safty of black smithing and being able to make your own forge were also discussed. There is always a lot happening at the Stubbylee Greenhouses and the wider park. To find out more please click here.
The Irwell Tapestry: There have been a number of fantastic workshops delivered by local artist, Ruth Evans. Working with a diverse range of residents and locals to create a community Masterpiece. The workshops were designed and delivered according to the abilities of the group. To date we have worked with 2nd Rossendale Beavers and Cubs, Britannia Community Primary School, The Youth group at the Maden Centre and Weir Pride to name but a few. Currently, Ruth is working very hard to bring all of the fascinating artwork togther. Participants were encouraged to draw and stitch anytning that is important to them along the banks of the River Irwell from its source in Weir, through Bacup and on into Stacksteads.
Above are some swatches for the Tapestry created by Ruth.
Gravy wrestling on the Irwell Tapestry.
You can find out more about Ruth Evans on her website by clicking here.
The Lancashire Archives Tour: the Lancashire Archives tour set out to introduce attendees to the County Archives resource as well as demonstrating a pracitcal introduction to archiving and research methods. An additonal aim of the tour was to raise awareness of the Archives and engage with more people accessing them. This will have a positve effect in allowing residents and locals to learn more and engage with their history and culture.
By the end of the tour, attendees were secure in how to access the Archives and also the importance in maintaining them and keeping them for future generations.
A representative of the Archives giving a brief tour and an introduction into research methods.
Attendees browsing through the Lancashire Archive resources.
Bacup Reminisce - Oral History: The memories day gave young people the opportunity to interview and engage with the older generation to find out about their shopping habits and how groceries and shopping habits have evolved over the years in Bacup. There are still a number of traditonal shops in Bacup, D&A Gregory & Sons, recently celebrated 50 years in business in March 2018. Conversation was evoked by using a range of different items in their original packaging from different eras.
The cubs asking questions about Bacup to older members of the community.
Public RealmFind out more
Bacup THI Partnership Board and MinutesTHI Minutes
How can I contact the THI?Contact Us
How can I contact the THI?
If you have any questions about the THI, wish to attend or volunteer for events and upcoming projects, or simply wish to share interesting stories or facts about Bacup’s history and heritage then please contact us by filling in the ‘stay informed’ details or email directly and we’ll get back in touch.
You can also arrange an appointment with the THI Project Officer to discuss the projects progress and up and coming events and activities.
Rossendale Borough Council
Futures Park, Newchurch Road
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