Significant buildings in one of South Lakeland’s most historic villages are to be reinvigorated and transformed after a £120,000 grant was secured from Historic England.
The grant will be used over three years to restore and enhance properties in Burton-in-Kendal which are showing signs of deterioration including physical decay and loss of historical detail.
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), Burton-in-Kendal Parish Council (BPC) and Historic England (HE) are working in close partnership on the project after SLDC alerted HE to the early warning signs and the Burton-in-Kendal Conservation Area was included in Historic England’s National Heritage at Risk Register.
SLDC is to contribute £35,000 a year for the next three years and, as well as the contributions from individual property owners, the local parish council will give £5,000 a year for the next three years to help improve the appearance of The Square in the village.
Cumbria County Council Highways and Transport division have also pledged to cover the cost of resurfacing the highway component of The Square, to a design and material finish that will complement the other environmental improvements that will be implemented there, and have indicated an anticipated sum of £34,000 to cover the cost of such works.
SLDC has also given the parish council an additional grant of £17,000 to be spent in the conservation area.
It is expected that at least eight buildings will be conserved or restored out of target group of 13 in the conservation area, that the appearance of The Square in the centre of the village will be improved, a village design guide will be developed, and a Village Maintenance and Repair Guide will be prepared, published, and distributed free to residents in the conservation area.
Catherine Dewar, Regional Director at Historic England North West, said: “We are delighted to offer a £120,000 grant to help revitalise a number of important buildings within Burton-in-Kendal, as well as improving the central village square. This grant, spread over three years, will secure historic buildings in the conservation area for people to better enjoy and understand. We really welcome South Lakeland District Council’s commitment to the heritage of the area. We know that places that are attractive and in good condition make a big difference to people’s daily lives.”
The scheme will be officially launched by SLDC and BPC at 5pm on Wednesday June 5 in Burton-in–Kendal Memorial Hall, before a Community Design Review Workshop where the scheme will be explained to residents and they will have a chance to look at initial designs for The Square and the draft Village Design Guide, and put forward their views.
The community design event will be led by Places Matter, an independent design evaluation organisation based in the North West, who will review the Village Design Guide. This guidance has been prepared by Crosby Granger Architects of Kendal, with input from residents, and will set out how the design of new buildings in the village should be handled so that the distinctive character of the area is maintained and improved. Places Matter will also be assessing the design that has been developed for the makeover of The Square, and residents will be able to ask questions and comment on this, and on the new Design Guide, during the evening.
The event marks the start of a four week consultation period when residents can comment on the draft Village Design Statement.
SLDC will take account of comments, before amending the guidance and adopting it as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) later in the year.
Apart from halting and reversing decline, the project aims to encourage the community to develop a greater insight into, and appreciation of, its unique heritage and help to sustain the community and make it more viable through a managed growth that is based on good quality, complementary design.
Coun Robin Ashcroft, SLDC’s portfolio holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “Protecting and enhancing the distinctive character of our communities is a key priority of South Lakeland District Council. We are delighted to be able to play a major role in this excellent project and welcome the support from Historic England which is making it possible.
“This is an excellent example of partnership working and shows what is possible when we come together to achieve a common goal. I am very much looking forward to seeing the positive impact this scheme will have on Burton-in-Kendal.”
Coun Jane Hopwood, speaking on behalf of Burton-in-Kendal Parish Council, said: “We are pleased to have been given the opportunity to be partners with Historic England and South Lakeland District Council in this important conservation scheme.
“The Square is important historically, visually and socially and the partnership funding has enabled us to restore and enhance the public areas. We are grateful to SLDC Conservation Officer, Graham Darlington for his expert guidance and assistance and to Paul Crosby from Crosby Granger Architects who has led on the both the design of the improvement works and the preparation of a Village Design Statement which will be an important consultation document for all future development in the village.
“We are also grateful to all parishioners who took part in the consultation process and gave their views and opinions – these helped to form the design of The Square works and the content of the Village Design Statement.”
Ward councillor Roger Bingham said: “”Burton-in-Kendal residents are proud of their heritage and many have contributed much to it - but we have the odd blemish and this grant will do something to correct that, to preserve what is good and enhance the beauty which we all appreciate.
“The devil is in the detail and in particular I am delighted about the restoration of the cobblestones in Market Square which have been uneven for a long time.”