Long-term vacant shops brought back to life in Padiham

Two shops in the centre of Padiham that had been empty for almost 20 years and fallen into disrepair have been brought back to life by Burnley Council.
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The properties at 33/35 Burnley Road have been transformed into refurbished ground floor shops with apartments above.

The council acquired the properties in 2021 as part of the Padiham Townscape Heritage scheme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and carried out a full internal and external restoration of the buildings.

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The properties had been significantly altered over the years with dividing walls lost and a range of issues effecting the buildings such as damp and dry rot caused by their long-term vacancy.

Padiham Town Hall in Padiham Town Centre. Photo: Kelvin StuttardPadiham Town Hall in Padiham Town Centre. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Padiham Town Hall in Padiham Town Centre. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

The council appointed Lea Hough chartered surveyors, which developed a scheme for the properties and oversaw the works onsite. These included comprehensive internal and external repairs and restoration to divide the properties back to their original proportions and reinstate heritage doors, windows and shop frontage in-keeping with the conservation area.

Coun. Mark Townsend, the council’s executive member for economy and growth, said: “Due to the historic nature of the building and its poor condition, this has been a challenging project but it's fantastic to see it being brought back into use after so many years empty.

“Padiham is a lovely town with some stunning architecture. There are some great specialist shops and the recent investment has not only greatly enhanced the look of town centre but has supported bringing disused heritage buildings back into economic use. It’s a very positive step towards Padiham’s future.”

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The properties are now ready to let. The apartments will be managed by the council’s housing unit and the retail units by the council’s partner organisation, Liberata. Decoration and new signage to the new frontages will be agreed and undertaken in consultation with the prospective tenants.

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The Padiham Townscape Heritage scheme was launched in 2018 following a successful bid for £1.4m. from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, matched by a further contribution of £600,000 from the council and other sources. Grant funding has been awarded to 10 building schemes within the project boundary so far and there are a further two projects in the pipeline expected to utilise remaining funds.

In addition to the heritage funding, a further £2m. was secured from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership fund to support environmental improvements within the townscape heritage and the wider town centre.

Upgrading of the public realm and highway has recently completed providing improved highway and paving surfaces, renewal of street furniture (benches, planters, bins, bollards), the introduction of additional pedestrian crossing points and traffic calming measures.