Conservation area proposals could unlock funding for Haslingden

Published June 28, 2018 at 11:19

A proposal has been unveiled to create a conservation area in Haslingden town centre which could unlock regeneration funding.

The Haslingden Conservation Area would roughly form a corridor along Manchester Road, Blackburn Road, Helmshore Road, Deardengate and Church Street.

The proposal will go before Rossendale Council’s cabinet committee on July 4 for approval.

If adopted, it would allow the council to apply for funding that is not currently available to improve the area and specific buildings which are deemed to be “at risk”.

Rossendale Council Leader Alyson Barnes said:

Haslingden is certainly not a forgotten town. We are committed to regenerating Haslingden and making it more attractive for traders, residents and visitors – a place where they want to spend time and invest in. Conservation area status would allow us to potentially apply for funding which is not currently available to us.

For example, there are many important buildings in Haslingden but some of them have not been cared for properly or are vacant, and they have a negative impact on the surrounding area. Unlocking funding could allow us to work with the owners – as we have done in Bacup – to refurbish the buildings and transform the look of the town centre.

We could also look at transforming some of the open spaces or improving the road layout and pavements for pedestrians and cyclists.

Haslingden is one of the oldest settlements in the borough and can be traced back to 1241. The current town grew out of the industrial boom and the increase in mills and mill workers.

It has a rich variety of buildings and an appraisal of the proposed conservation area recommends that some of them should be submitted for listed status.

Other recommendations include working with owners to improve “at risk” buildings, bringing vacant floor space back into use, improving shopfronts and making the town centre more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

Councillor Barnes added:

We have shown in Bacup just how a place can be enhanced by restoring the exterior of buildings and renovating shopfronts in a way which complements their history.

We have not addressed all the challenges Bacup is facing, and there is still a great deal left to do, but the town centre is looking better.

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