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Over £410,000 of funding awarded to restore and repair historic Stoke high street properties

More than £410,000 of funding from Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Historic England will go towards restoring historic high street properties in Stoke town centre.

Work has begun on historic building repairs to the Crafty Lion Public House on Church Street. 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, owners of The Crafty Lion 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 undertake work on 1 Glebe Street, with work due to start on the site this month. S&T Property has been awarded £115,000 for work including 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. Once complete the building will be used as an IT business space with a number of companies already expressing an interest. Historic England have agreed to support the external refurbishment of the project with £247k Stoke grant funding. Works are anticipated to commence on site on the 21 March 2022 with an estimated completion date of 16 September 2022.

The Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone project runs for four years (from 2020 to 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.

Cllr 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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