Heritage properties in Mansfield are to be offered a free gutter clean and the Bentinck Memorial is to get a revamp as part of a major council driven scheme to renovate key buildings.
It is all part of the Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project to be officially launched next month after Mansfield District Council successfully bid for nearly £850,000 worth of National Lottery Opens new windowHeritage FundOpens new window (NLHF) grants.
The five-year scheme enables the owners of identified properties in parts of Leeming Street, the Market Place and Stockwell Gate to benefit from match-funded grants of 75 per cent to help with the cost of making property improvements in sympathy with their Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian heritage.
The project will be officially launched by Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams on Tuesday 3 September when a cherry picker will be in the town centre to carry out the free gutter cleaning and make minor repairs, over two days.
The chance to go up in a cherry picker also gives the building conservation contractors the opportunity to check and photograph rooftops for other signs of damage, or potential problems, on which owners can be advised.
The Mayor said: "When gutters and gullies get clogged by leaves and overgrown vegetation, it becomes a common cause of damage and damp in historic properties so this is a simple but important way we can help to improve and maintain the integrity of our town centre's valued historic buildings. It can avert potentially costly future repairs to buildings, too.
This Townscape Heritage Project will make a huge difference to the look of our town centre which has some very significant heritage properties.
We have already had a lot of interest with several owners eager to take the opportunity to upgrade their properties in a sympathetic way as soon as possible.
Details of some of those schemes on Leeming Street and Stockwell Gate will be available to view at the launch of the project to be held in the Market Place from 10.30am to 3pm on 3 September.
There will also be music and demonstrations by three traditional hand-painted signwriters (Painted ProjectsOpens new window, HNS SignsOpens new window and J Chapman SignwriterOpens new window) with a chance for children and other members of the public to try their hand at the craft.
Owners of properties in the project area are being invited to bid for restoration grants, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. Businesses who rent premises are being encouraged to invite their landlords to apply for the improvement grants.
Jonathan Lee, the council's Townscape Heritage Officer, who is overseeing the project, said: "We are now in a position to take this important initiative forward and help property owners make some of the improvements that will benefit these historic buildings and the town centre.
"The council can advise owners interested in applying for the grants and help take their ideas forward to a successful conclusion.
"This scheme is a pivotal strand of the council's overall vision to regenerate the town centre and make the district vibrant and attractive for residents, visitors and business looking for place to invest."
The Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project programme of conservation, community engagement, and educational events will be delivered in partnership with the local BIDOpens new window, Mansfield MuseumOpens new window, Nottinghamshire County CouncilOpens new window and Vision West Notts CollegeOpens new window.
As well as improvements to buildings, the scheme is expected to offer work experience opportunities for students and volunteers to learn about conservation and restoration skills.
There should also be opportunities to be involved in film, story-telling, street theatre, art and photography activities, celebrating efforts to return some of Mansfield's most elegant shopping streets to their former glory.
To find out more, visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/townscapeheritage or email Jonathan Lee at jlee@Mansfield.gov.uk or call 01623 463369.