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Bright future for Whitehaven shops

32 James St
32 James St

[T]wo more buildings are to be transformed thanks to Copeland Borough Council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative programme in Whitehaven.

At 32 James St, between Jinx and Taste, a vacant shop will be renovated and a separately-accessed three-bedroom flat will be created above.

Numbers 48-50 Market Place (the Little Hong Kong take-away) will become two shops and two flats above. The current Little Hong Kong tenants will move into one of the shops, and the other will be available to rent.

48-50 Market Place
48-50 Market Place

Work should begin before the end of May and be completed by the end of the year. High quality natural materials and traditional methods will be used to support the sensitive regeneration of this historic area.

Elected Mayor Mike Starkie said: “I am delighted about these two grants. It means the properties, which have either been vacant or underused for a long time, will be brought back into beneficial use.  Three new homes will be created and more than 140 square metres of retail space will either be improved or created. It’s also hoped that three full-time and one part-time job will be created through the improvements.  This is all good news for the town centre. Quality retail space makes the area an attractive investment and of course, visible improvements immediately make the street a nicer place to be.”

The Townscape Heritage Initiative aims to bring historic buildings back into use and provide heritage training and skills projects.

Property owners are offered grants for specific repairs, the restoration of original features and the removal of clutter and non-traditional features. The first property to be funded was the former YMCA building in Irish Street, which is becoming a foyer offering accommodation, training and support for young people.

There has also been a grant to the former Flowers and Foliage shop in Market Place, currently being renovated to become a shop with living accommodation above.

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