A conservation expert has been appointed to guide an £870,000 investment in the historic fabric of Northwich town centre.
Earlier this year it was announced that Northwich had been earmarked for the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) grant following a bid by the Weaver Valley Partnership and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Jenny Tunney has now been appointed as Townscape Heritage Officer with responsibility for the development phase of the Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) programme.
The scheme will focus on the repair and refurbishment of some of the town centre’s most historic buildings to boost its appeal to commercial investors and bring vacant properties back into use.
It will also fund improvements to the historic streetscape and heritage skills training for property owners, contractors and other groups involved in the management of the town’s historic core.
A qualified planner and heritage professional, Jenny will work closely with local businesses, property owners, the newly-formed Northwich BID and the wider community to develop the detailed plan necessary to secure the grant.
Jenny said: “Northwich’s historic timber framed buildings are what give the town centre its distinctive character and identity.
“This project will help to boost the offer of the traditional town centre shopping area by offering grant assistance towards the repair and restoration of historic buildings, including re-instating traditional shop fronts.
“These improvements will make a positive contribution towards the character of the area and its re-invigoration by underpinning important local heritage, and be a welcome boost to the local economy.
“The THI is one of several exciting regeneration projects to be delivered in and around Northwich town centre within the next few years. This mixed-use phased investment will see the revitalisation of Northwich through sensitive design projects which build upon its important natural and built heritage.”
Jenny joins Cheshire West and Chester Council after spending eight years working as a conservation officer in a number of local authorities.
Her background has involved dealing with all types of heritage applications and projects concerning the historic environment and she has extensive experience of working with different styles of buildings, including timber framed properties.
Jenny has experience of working in partnership to deliver major heritage-led regeneration projects – several of which have been HLF funded – and has proactively managed change in Conservation Areas to enhance their character and appearance.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy, said: “I am delighted to welcome Jenny as Heritage Townscape Officer for Northwich.
“Jenny has a strong background in heritage and conservation and I look forward to watching this exciting scheme develop under her leadership.”
Updates on the THI scheme and all other regeneration projects currently underway in Northwich and the Weaver Valley area can be found at www.weavervalley.org.uk