Council bags £1.1million to regenerate Barking town centre
PUBLISHED: 16:05 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 03 July 2017
The council has secured £1.1million to help regenerate the town centre and repair historic buildings.
After a two-year fight for funding toward a project that will cost £1.7million in total, the council secured the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which it will use to regenerate Barking town centre and areas surrounding the Abbey.
Plans include improved landscaping and seating around Curfew Tower at St Margaret’s Church in North Street, where properties will also be renovated in what cabinet member for economic and social development Councillor Cameron Geddes said would be a huge improvement for town centre builds.
“This grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will play a huge part in improving the quality of the built environment across the high street and conservation area,” he said. “The various upgrades and projects that we have planned will provide some buildings in Barking with a much-needed facelift, while also helping to ensure that the area’s history and heritage is enhanced and maintained for future generations.”
That “facelift” will also include improvements on properties in East Street, where Fawley House’s vacant upper floors will be converted into apartments, and North Street, where The Bull Pub’s original facade will be “appropriately retained and enhanced”. The council has also promised “upgrades” to Barking Market.
The grant will also fund an educational outreach programme for adults, children and students of Barking and Dagenham College’s town centre based Technical Skills Academy (TSA), which is based in Short Blue Place, Barking.
As well as the TSA, the council is working with St Margaret’s Church, Valence House Museum, Barking and Dagenham Historical Society, Historic England and Creative Barking and Dagenham on the regeneration project.
Head of HLF London Stuart Hobley said the funding would boost Barking’s prosperity.
“Investing National Lottery players’ money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of a community not only makes a place more attractive to live and visit, it also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people,” he said. “We are delighted to make this award to Barking and Dagenham as part of our on-going commitment to preserving London’s heritage”.