St Austell and Newquay’s Member of Parliament Steve Double has welcomed the completion of the St Austell Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The £1.5million project originated with Steve in 2012 when he was a St Austell Cornwall Councillor, and since his election as Member of Parliament in 2015, he has remained an enthusiastic supporter.
The £1.5m National Lottery funded initiative, led by Cornwall Council in collaboration with St Austell Town Council and St Austell BID, has repaired and regenerated historic buildings and public spaces in St Austell’s conservation area including:
The restoration of St Austell’s Grade II listed 1844 Market House, which has been transformed into a vibrant community space and home to local independent businesses.
Shopfront façades and signs revitalised with handmade botanical ceramic tiles and new bespoke ceramic murals that have been commended in the Cornwall Buildings Group 2023 Awards.
The Trinity Centre transformed into a hub for local people offering meeting and training rooms, with a new café set to open shortly.
The restoration of the Holy Trinity Church historic marble drinking-water fountain, dating from 1890, complemented by a new water refill point
Feedback from residents and stakeholders contributed to an extensive independent evaluation report conducted earlier this year that praised the investment in the town and the delivery of the much-needed improvements to revitalise St Austell’s town centre.
The ambitious project inspired positive change for long-term impact and has successfully transformed 12 historic buildings across the town involving local artists and using traditional high-quality repairs - revitalising shopfronts, signage and reinstating missing architectural detailing.
The scheme has also facilitated new community spaces, recreational and work areas, accommodation and improved level access to public spaces.
Commenting, Steve said:
“It was great to see the completion of the long-running St Austell Townscape Heritage Initiative, something which I was first able to successfully attract funding for all the way back in 2012 when I was Cornwall Councillor for Poltair and a Cabinet Member on Cornwall Council.”
“Since then my team and I have supported the ongoing realisation of these plans, and congratulations must go to Cornwall Council’s team and a variety of local stakeholders for seeing them through, revitalising some of our iconic St Austell town centre buildings in the process. Well done to everyone who has been involved over the years in getting this result for our town.”
Commenting, Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, said:
“Involving the community and working with local stakeholders has been key in rejuvenating public areas and bringing empty or underused buildings back to their best. It’s fantastic to see how their commitment and enthusiasm for St Austell has resulted in the Townscape Heritage scheme having a significant impact on the appearance of the town centre conservation area, increasing its appeal to visitors and investors, and complementing other local initiatives of benefit to the town centre environment and economy.”
Commenting, Anne Double, Cornwall Councillor for St Austell Central and Gover, Strategic Partnership Group and Grants Panel Member said:
"The Townscape Heritage Scheme has definitely made parts of our high street look a lot better. By restoring and improving these historic buildings we’ve breathed fresh life into them and are gaining more momentum with new innovative projects on the horizon.”