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Cash help to restore Stoke’s historic properties

Historic high street buildings in Stoke will be restored thanks to a cash boost of £410,000.

Work has begun to building repairs to the Crafty Lion Public House on Church Street using the funding from Stoke Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Historic England.

Property owner, Solanki Holdings, has been awarded £300,000 from the Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to help pay towards repairs to the exterior of the building and convert the upper floors and rear into accommodation. The external works include the reinstatement of a traditional frontage, signage, roof repairs, windows and repair works to the historic lions’ heads. Grant funding has been offered towards supporting the internal conversion of the upper floors of the property into accommodation.

Nirad Solanki, of Solanki Holdings, said: “Without this grant the whole project would not have been viable. It’s been so important to us to be part of the whole regeneration scheme in the town centre and improving the high street. The funding is going towards vital work restoring the building and conserving the heritage of the property as well as the internal reconfiguration.”

Grant funding has also been offered to help restore 1 Glebe Street, with work due to start on the site this month. S&T Property has been awarded £115,000 for repairs to the traditional shop front and reinstatement of the awnings.

Work at Spode building no. 5, as part of the Powering Up Enterprise Project also includes a financial contribution for the Heritage Action Zone programme. The building will be used as an IT business space with a number of companies already expressing an interest. Historic England has agreed to support the external refurbishment of the project with £247,000 Stoke grant funding. The work is expected to be completed in September.

The Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone project runs until 2024 and aims to support property owners with repairs and improve the appearance of historic buildings in the town centre conservation area. Property owners can be awarded grants of up to 75 per cent towards eligible works.

Councillor James Smith, heritage champion for Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “I’m delighted we’re now at the stage where work is progressing on these historic building in Stoke high street. Following the conversion of the former Harry’s Bar to accommodation, these works will help restore shop front to their former glory and will really help improve how the town looks and feels.

“The scheme aims to support property owners with internal and external repairs to their buildings, supporting both retail on the ground floor and converting upper floor space to residential accommodation. Getting people back in our high streets again will help support other small businesses.”

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