PLANS to ‘bring back traditional life and vitality’ to the Victorian centre of Padiham is set for £1.4million boost.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has allocated cash to be spent over the next five years in the town centre, which was hit by severe flooding on Boxing Day, 2015.


The investment will be concentrated on the town’s conservation area, known as ‘The Hill’, a compact area of mostly Victorian buildings sed for retail.

The five-year programme aims to renew the town’s rich heritage and strong connections with Gawthorpe Hall by restoring buildings.

Around £250,000 will be spent on decluttering the streets, introducing traffic calming and public art.

Community and heritage events are also planned for the during the duration of the project.

The scheme has already been given £48,000 to progress a business case.

On Monday evening, Burnley Council’s executive gave the go ahead with the next phase of the plan.

Its development proposal will be submitted on Tuesday, February 28, with a decision expected on the details by the end of June.

If approved it is expected that the project will start this autumn for a period of five years.

The public realm aspect of the scheme would also see the introduction of new pavement surfaces and environmental improvements.

A conservation area management plan has been produced by Buttress Architects, on behalf of the council.

It states: “There has been a lack of a coherent public realm strategy with previous works carried out in isolation.

“The result has been disjointed approaches to street furniture and furniture.

“There are good examples of historic fixtures and fitting, such as lamp posts, therefore there is plenty of guidance for a plan.

“Padiham has high quality building stock that tells an interesting story about its community.

“There is a great amount of potential for the area to enhance both the aesthetics and the history of the town through careful alterations and development.”

Grants will be offered to property owners to cover a fixed percentage of the costs of repairs to exteriors and restoration of historic features.

Padiham conservation area was designated in 1975 with the boundary extended in1984 to include notable buildings on the periphery of the historic core.

It covers around 13 acres taking in areas such as Padiham bridge, a focal point of St Leonard’s Church, which dates back to 1866, and Gawthorpe Street.

Other listed buildings are The Old Black Bull Inn, now the Cavern restaurant, and The Starkie’s Arms.

Residential areas include the cottages on Calder Street and the cobbled Shuttleworth Street which also has ‘barley twist’ lampposts.

The Buttress report also notes ‘an abundance of narrow passageways and back alleys that retain their historic surfacing and offer attractive framed views’.

Councillor Andy Tatchell, represents the area on Burnley Council.

He said: “There has been an awful lot of detailed work gone into this bid.

“Padiham has got an important heritage area and these funds would be very welcome to maintain and enhance it for the future.”

The town’s conservation area was placed on the National Heritage ‘at risk’ register in 2013 after ‘clear deterioration of the area’s condition and appearance’ over the previous three years.

The register described the overall condition of the area as being ‘very bad and not expected to change without interventions’.

It is hoped the investment will result in the area being withdrawn from the risk register.

Among the recommendations to improve the area are using the Liberal Club as a flagship for good conservation practice, bringing the former Constitutional Club building back into use and putting in measures to ease traffic and help pedestrian access to businesses on Burnley Road.