Victorian coastal resorts among the big winners

HLF awards £14m to historic towns

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced £14m of funding for historic British towns as part of its ongoing Townscape Heritage programme.

Chief among the winners are Victorian seaside towns, with the holiday destinations of Cleethorpes, St Austell and Rothesay netting a total of  £4.7m between them.

In Cleethorpes, two streets connecting the town and seafront will have their distinctive architecture preserved while St Austell town centre will improve its historic buildings and public spaces. Rothesay's bid is for the regeneration of its Winter Gardens and seafront, including Victorian public lavatories on the West Pier, has also been successful.

Other successful funding bids are for a conservation area in Hartlepool, County Durham; a craft project in Padiham, Lancashire; Pontmorlais heritage quarter, Wales; and regeneration zones in Coventry, Worksop and Armagh.

HLF chair Sir Peter Luff said: 'Historic town centres are the beating heart of communities, so where they fall into disrepair, the community pays a heavy price. Research shows that this can be changed and that even small changes – improving shop fronts or restoring architectural features – can make a real difference.' The schemes will also help boost local economies, providing jobs and training opportunities.

The Townscape Heritage programme awards grants from £100,000 to £2m. Over the past 20 years, it has given £274m to 300 projects.The next application deadline is 1 September 2016 with decisions being made in January 2017. Find out more

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