Town set for £2m revamp
A CASH injection of £2m is set to revitalise and regenerate facilities in a Teesside town.
Stockton has been picked as one of 10 ‘rundown’ UK conservation areas to receive the funding boost.
It is hoped the sum will breathe new life into the town’s economy by restoring historic buildings and bringing them back into use by the community, businesses and visitors.
The money is part of a £17m investment package, spearheaded by The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to mark 50 years since the protection for historic towns was introduced.
Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “We’ve been investing money raised through the National Lottery in the UK’s conservation areas for more than 20 years and we’ve seen first-hand the incredible difference it has made to local communities.”
She said that where local communities build plans around heritage, “it can have a powerful effect not only on local pride but also on local economic prosperity”.
Stockton High Street was recently named one of the best in the country after scooping the “Rising Star” title of the Great British High Street of the Year Awards.
Work on bringing together arts, entertainment and sport into the town centre alongside the multi-million-pound regeneration project has won praise for the town.
The bid’s theme, “All the world’s a stage”, recognised the regenerated High Street’s ability to host events like cycling championships, street theatre and specialist markets.
The competition saw a record 900 entries across all 14 categories, with winners being decided by a combination of scores from a judging visit and a public vote.
And after reaching a shortlist of three, Stockton High Street beat off the competition to scoop the accolade at a ceremony in London in December last year.
Last year saw a start to the hugely anticipated restoration of the town’s Globe theatre. The work came after Stockton Council announced it would inject £2m of taxpayer funds into the stalled refurbishment, which initially began in 2011.
HLF had earmarked nearly £4m towards the project’s costs - but a bid for the remaining money was not submitted due to discussions between the council and Jomast, the property’s owner.