£1.4m payout to transform town

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Nearly £2.9m is set to be spent on improving Wellingborough town centre.

Wellingborough Council has been awarded more than £1.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to protect and enhance the town’s heritage and history. The cash will be supplemented with £707,000 of council funds and £757,000 from property owners, meaning a total of £2,89m will be available to invest in Wellingborough.

The money will be spent over five years and it is expected it will help the preservation of eight major properties and recapture the heritage of at least 20 shop fronts.

Grants will be available for smaller repairs to at least 25 other properties and a sum of £128,699 has been allocated to public realm projects, including improvements to the war memorial at Broad Green.

It is expected that work will start on a number of the projects by the end of the year.

The money will be spent on restoring key buildings, improving town centre shop fronts, creating a heritage trail and providing training and education on traditional trades such as stonemasonry.

Shop owners along Market Street, Sheep Street, Silver Street, High Street and Cambridge Street will be able to apply for grants to return their shop fronts to their former glory with the use of natural period materials.

Cllr Graham Lawman, chairman of the council’s development committee, said: “This is an exciting time for Wellingborough and we’re delighted to receive the news that we have been successful in securing the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“We have a lot of history and some really beautiful buildings, and we will be able to restore and protect this heritage so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Joanna Chapman, manager of Wellingborough’s Business Improvement District, said: “I think it’s fantastic, it’s exactly what we need – it’s a large injection of money and it can’t be anything other than fantastic for Wellingborough town centre.”

Shasha Khan, owner of the Hind Hotel, said: “I’m thrilled to hear about this excellent news and I congratulate the officers at the council for successfully applying for this money. This is positive news for the town centre. It ensures that the historical buildings such as the Hind within the town will be preserved for future generations.”