City preparing funding bid to inject life into heritage area
A SERIES of public consultations have been held to find out how people in Derby would like to see the city's heritage restored.
In May last year, Derby City Council received £36,500 for its Townscape Heritage Initiative project to identify historic and architectural features of buildings in the conservation area to be repaired and restored.
The money is now being spent to develop plans ready for them to be submitted for a full grant this year.
If that bid is successful, a further £700,000 would be awarded to the council for a regeneration scheme for the area, which would stretch from St Peter's Churchyard in the east, down Green Lane on to Victoria Street and include a number of Derby's historic buildings.
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Anarchitecture, a company appointed for the development consultation on behalf of Derby City Council, held a Heritage in Action event yesterday which gave people the opportunity to hear details of the current bid and, if successful, how the £700,000 could be spent on restoring the city over the next five years.
An event was held in an empty shop in Green Lane on Tuesday and a similar one was held yesterday, at a vacant shop in the Strand Arcade.
Valeria Passetti, architect for Anarchitecture, helped to organise yesterday's event.
She said: "The aim is to find out what the public would like to see, what the current problems are in the areas and to try to find a solution for them.
"We felt that, by holding the events in the areas directly affected by the initiative, then we were focusing on the problems and issues immediately affecting the surrounding people.
"We are looking at urban and certain social issues and using it as constructive criticism.
"There are empty properties in the Strand area and Green Lane as business owners have migrated out of the area to the Westfield Centre.
"There have been schemes in the past which have proven to be economically beneficial to the area and have renewed people's confidence in the city council and the regeneration scheme."
She added that the application for the full grant would be submitted at the end of April.
Elizabeth Wood, the owner of the Only Joking fancy dress store in Green Lane, attended the latest event and said she hoped the bid would be successful.
She said: "I've just taken over the fancy dress business from my mum.
"When I used to work here when I was 20 years old, the area was bustling and lively with people and it isn't like that any more. It would be fantastic to see something positive come to the area.
"If it was regenerated then it could potentially bring more people into the area and help out the businesses."