Volunteers wanted for Church Street regeneration project

Church Street, Hartlepool.
Church Street, Hartlepool.

Volunteers are wanted for a new council project as part of the Church Street regeneration scheme to help celebrate the area’s heritage.

Townscape Heritage Project Officer Fiona Riley delivered the news as she gave an update on the Church Street Conservation Area Revival to Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee.

Running form October 22 to 26, volunteers are wanted to record the buildings in the Church Street Conservation Area.

As a volunteer people will find out about the development of buildings in the area including the use of different materials and building styles used.

The project will create a basic record of the buildings of Church Street Conservation Area and provide a reference and research tool for anybody interested in investigating the heritage of the area in the future.

Speaking at the meeting, Ms Riley said: “Volunteers are wanted for the work which will be part of the overall project.

“The changing street will be recorded by volunteers using drawing, photography and film.”

An oral histories project will also be coming soon, with residents wanted to recite their memories of the Church Street area.

She said she expects the project will be ongoing for the next two and a half years.

She also told councillors on the committee  there was ‘interest’ in grants available to business and property owners in Church Street to conserve and repair sites.

These include building grants, used to help make properties structurally sound, which will cover 75% of costs with the maximum grant capped at £20,000.

People can also apply for a separate grant specifically for the repair and reinstatement of traditional shop fronts, with the maximum grant for 90% of costs and capped at £10,000.

The priority area for the grants is the eastern end of Church Street between Whitby Street and Mainsforth Terrace.

Ms Riley said: “We are getting interest in the grants, which will hopefully provide high quality results.

“The grants involve getting advice from experts on the work.

“People can apply for both grants for the same building and work is ongoing to encourage people to make the most of the grants.”

During the update she also said the public realm work in Church Square is due to be complete this autumn.

The redevelopment of the square will create a new public open space, landscaping and green space, seating areas and pedestrian friendly surfacing.

The council received a £1.1million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver the three year project to breathe new life into the area.

To get involved with the projects or apply for a grant contact the Townscape Heritage Project Officer on 01429 523532.