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Old town centre buildings to be given a revamp

Posted onPosted on 21st Aug

Heritage properties in Mansfield are to be offered a free gutter clean — and Bentinck Memorial is to get a revamp — as part of a major council driven scheme to renovate key buildings in the town centre.

It is part of the Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project, to be officially launched at the beginning of September after Mansfield District Council successfully bid for nearly £850,000 worth of National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) grants.

The five-year scheme enables the owners of identified properties in parts of Leeming Street, the Market Place and Stockwell Gate to benefit from match-funded grants of 75 per cent to help with the cost of making property improvements in sympathy with their Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian heritage.

The project will be officially launched by the Mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abrahams, on Tuesday, 3rd September when a cherry picker will be in the town centre to carry out the free gutter cleaning and make minor repairs, over two days.

The chance to go up in a cherry picker also gives building conservation contractors an opportunity to check and photograph rooftops for other signs of damage, or potential problems, on which owners can be advised.

The mayor said: “When gutters and gullies get clogged by leaves and overgrown vegetation, it becomes a common cause of damage and damp in historic properties.

“This is a simple but important way we can help to improve and maintain the integrity of our town centre’s valued historic buildings. It can avert potentially costly future repairs to buildings, too.

“This project will make a huge difference to the look of our town centre, which has some very significant heritage properties.

“We have already had a lot of interest with several owners eager to take the opportunity to upgrade their properties in a sympathetic way as soon as possible.”

Details of some of those schemes on Leeming Street and Stockwell Gate will be available to view at the launch of the project, to be held in the Market Place from 10.30am to 3pm.

There will also be music and demonstrations by three traditional hand-painted signwriters (Painted Projects, HNS Signs and J Chapman Signwriter) with a chance for children and other members of the public to try their hand at the craft.

Owners of properties in the project area are being invited to bid for restoration grants, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. Businesses who rent premises are being encouraged to invite their landlords to apply for the improvement grants.

Jonathan Lee, the council’s townscape heritage officer, who is overseeing the project, said: “We are now in a position to take this important initiative forward and help property owners make some of the improvements that will benefit these historic buildings and the town centre.

“The council can advise owners interested in applying for the grants and help take their ideas forward to a successful conclusion.

“This scheme is a pivotal strand of the council’s vision to regenerate the town centre and make the district vibrant and attractive for residents, visitors and business looking for a place to invest.”

The Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project programme of conservation, community engagement, and educational events will be delivered in partnership with the local BID, Mansfield Museum, Nottinghamshire County Council and Vision West Notts College.

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Pictured is Leeming Street in 1919.