Lower St James' Street to benefit from £80,000 grant to boost Burnley high street
A grant of £80,000 will be used to further transform lower St James' Street through a series of "vibrant and artistic" rejuvenation programmes.
Historic England, which distributes funding from the Government for heritage purposes, has awarded the grant to develop and deliver schemes that will make use of disused and dilapidated buildings, restore local historic character and improve the public realm.
During the last 18 months, the street has seen significant investment from Government, Burnley Council and other partners to regenerate the area.
This extra funding will be used to deploy multiple art forms in a vibrant new series of interventions.
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said: “I am delighted that Burnley has received £80,000 funding from Historic England for cultural activities on our high street, as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone.
"Lower St James' Street has a long history dating back centuries, and was once a bustling area of the town.
"It is in dire need of rejuvenation and so this new funding grant is a welcome step to making sure that we support the regeneration of this part of our town centre providing further evidence that we are now getting the focus we need from public bodies and government for improvements into our area.”
The plans are part of a national four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The programme's aim is to make high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.
The partners in Burnley’s Cultural Consortium, working with Burnley Borough Council, include the Empire Theatre Trust, Mid Pennine Arts, Creative Spaces Burnley, Creative Arts and Burnley BID.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England chief executive, said: “The high street cultural programme is a step change in the way we think about bringing high streets back from the brink.
"As we start to see these important historic spaces become regenerated through building work, it is the community-led cultural work that helps people to enjoy their high street again and also have a say in what the future of their high street might be.”
Nick Hunt, creative director of Burnley-based Mid Pennine Arts and one of the partners in the Burnley Cultural Consortium, said: “We’re so pleased that Historic England are making this investment in Burnley’s cultural life.
"Burnley Borough Council-led regeneration work is vital to our town’s future, and all the partners are delighted to be working together to support it with this programme for Burnley people.
"Our neighbourhood has a proud heritage of distinctive culture, and as the building improvements take shape and we emerge from the pandemic, we can’t wait to bring that spirit back and help give Lower St James’s a brand new buzz.”
Kate Ingram, strategic head of Economy and Growth, Burnley Borough Council, said: ‘The investment from the Cultural Programme is a significant step towards the revival of the town’s cultural and creative life.
"The programme will fuel cultural-led regeneration and support the Heritage Action Zone Scheme investment currently underway to make lower St James’ Street become a more attractive, engaging, and vibrant place to be."