All systems go!
THE eagerly awaited Tavistock Townscape Heritage Initiative has been given the thumbs up by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which has granted its 'permission to start'.
The scheme will see the historic core of Tavistock rejuvenated over the next five years to help boost the town's economy, thanks to a HLF grant to the tune of almost £1-million.
The money has been allocated from the HLF's Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) programme, which helps communities improve the built historic environment to stimulate economic regeneration for the benefit of local residents, workers and visitors.
The grant will be matched by an equal amount from businesses and local authorities, providing an overall boost of £2-million for the local economy.
The scheme is administered by Tavistock Town Council, which is proposing to borrow £500,000 to fund improvements worth more than £1-million to historic town council owned properties.
The scheme will help to pay for renovation and repairs to the pannier market roof, bring the butchers' hall back into long term use, upgrade public areas in the town centre and provide grants for property owners to rejuvenate premises in the King Street, Market Street and West Street areas.
Tavistock Townscape Heritage Partnership chairman John Taylor said: 'This is the culmination of six years hard work by a partnership of local councils, businesses and community groups, co-ordinated by the Tavistock Townscape Heritage Partnership and I am delighted we will soon be able to start work in earnest.'
Nerys Watts, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: 'HLF investment goes well beyond the bricks and mortar of a building.
'THI schemes can really help turn around local economies, not only by improving how they look and feel but by creating new opportunities for those who live and work there.
'We're delighted to join the many groups and businesses in Tavistock who are committed to ensuring a bright future for their town.'
A project manager will be recruited in the New Year to deliver the scheme and once they are in place those landlords of eligible properties will be contacted regarding progress.
Tavistock Town Council mayor Cllr Harry Smith said: 'This is a major boost for the local economy and represents a significant investment in our town's retail and heritage.
'This success will create a significant amount of work for the council over the next five years.
'The award of funding from HLF shows just what local councils can achieve when they work together with community groups.'
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