Wednesday, October 21, 2015

News: Regenerated Rotherham buildings no longer on risk register


Important historic buildings on Rotherham's High Street, that were for years considered at risk and close to being lost forever, have been removed from Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register.

Produced by the organisation formerly known as English Heritage, the register highlights the work of its programme that protects and manages the historic environment, so the number of "at risk" historic places and sites across England is reduced. The list provides an annual snapshot of the health of England's historic environment.

25 and 27 on the High Street in Rotherham town centre is known as the Three Cranes building. The former Three Cranes Inn, that occupied a timber framed building dating back to the 15th Century, is thought to be the oldest domestic building in the town and was probably built as a merchant's town house around 1600.

The grade 2* listed building is the only timber framed building to survive in Rotherham town centre. An earlier wing consists of a medieval open hall block that retains evidence for a high status "coved" area at one end, known as a dais, in addition to the remains of a vaulted undercroft beneath.

It was included on the first Heritage at Risk Register in 1999, and has been ever since. Until now.

In April this year, the restoration of the buildings was revealed. Local businessman, Chris Hamby (pictured) is creating a complex of mixed-used retail outlets focusing on listed buildings. The plan is backed by loans and grants from Rotherham Council and Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for additional, much needed works.

The empty buildings are now back in use and the regeneration initiative has helped Rotherham make it to the final of the Great British High Street competition.

The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme sees property owners and long term lease holders secure grants enabling them to restore, renovate and repair their historic buildings which are all within a conservation area that radiates from Rotherham Minster. The aim is to encourage new shops, apartments and businesses to locate in the town centre. It is made up of £4.7m investment from the HLF, Rotherham Council and the property owners.

The case study on the buildings being taken off the register states: "25 and 27 High Street Rotherham were included on the first Heritage at Risk Register in 1999. The Heritage Lottery Fund and Rotherham Council supported a comprehensive programme of repair and restoration. The building is now in use as Hambys Antique Centre and has been removed from the Register.

"Rotherham Town Centre Conservation Area remains at risk. However, with further regeneration projects still to complete, its outlook is certainly brighter."

Rotherham town centre conservation area remains on the at register but is considered to be "improving." The nearby conservation area on Doncaster Road adjacent to Clifton Park is also on the register and is said to be "deteriorating significantly."

An application to the National Heritage Memorial Fund for another phase of heritage regeneration in Rotherham town centre was rejected in January.

Rotherham Council put forward a bid worth £1.9m for a project based on John Platt's house which is now part of Westgate Chambers.

Another bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is expected to be submitted to enable further restoration work to be carried out around the High Street.

Rotherham town centre website
Historic England website

Images: Historic England


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