A £300,000 funding pot is being made available to help bring empty buildings in Bishop Auckland back into use.
The Conservation Area Grant Scheme has been set up as part of the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone to support the owners of historic properties in the town centre refurbish and redevelop them for business, residential or retail use.
Jointly funded by Durham County Council and Historic England, it aims to improve the appearance of the high street but also support new businesses and create and safeguard jobs.
The launch of the fund by Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) follows an economic study, including condition surveys of several empty building, which identified three key areas for investment – Fore Bondgate; Market Place to the Newgate Centre; and the area around 80 Newgate and the former Beales department store.
Money is available for internal and external refurbishment work, with grants provided for up to 70 per cent of the cost of the scheme.
Maximum funding is dependent on the size of the project but could range between £20,000 and £30,000.
Applicants are encouraged to provide opportunities for people to develop new or existing heritage skills within their proposed scheme and to consider how they can engage with the community, for example through site tours or displays providing information on the history and heritage of the building.
To apply for funding or for more information regarding this fund, email email@example.com or visit the Durham County Council website for more information on the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone.