Dozens of homes and businesses will see their properties given a facelift as early as January as part of a £14 million regeneration scheme.
PlaceFirst housing, which is heading up the regeneration of the Woodnook area of Accrington, has secured funding to revitalise the ‘key gateway’ of Nuttall Street to attract more businesses and families to the area.
A contract for the facelift scheme is set to be agreed with Hyndburn council this month and property owners will be given three months to sign up before work starts in the New Year.
PlaceFirst is working to bring 200 empty properties on five terraced streets back into use and to regenerate the wider area.
Bosses say the project is expected to be completed in time for next summer and will coincide with the opening of the new community square on the site of the demolished Priestly Nook flats. The upgrades will include cosmetic work, stone cleaning, re-pointing and new doors and windows where necessary.
They also revealed:
- Two show homes on Hudson Street will be completed by the end of November with the first set of properties available for rent by March.
- New tenants will be offered initial six-month deals with longer deals up to five years if they prove they are ‘decent residents’.
- They are calling on Lancashire County Council to repair and upgrade roads and footpaths in the area.
Martin Ellerby, PlaceFirst associate director, spoke on the issue at last week’s Peel and Barnfield area council meeting.
He said: “One of the major issues is Nuttall Street which is the shop window of Woodnook and right now that window isn’t particularly great.
“All of the properties on there – whether they are shops or residential properties – are going to be facelifted.
“It’s the most busy street in the area and all the properties will look ship shape and will help restore a bit of confidence.
“We have also managed to acquire Priestly Nook, knock that down and that will form a new square right at the heart of the community and open up the community centre to much more uses.” Mr Ellerby added: “We like to try and do as much as we can for the local area.
“The main work has not been tendered yet and this is quite a complex process and we need to take a lot into consideration.”
Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard said Nuttall Street was a ‘really important gateway’ and the facelift will help with the area’s regeneration.
She added: “They haven’t contracted the work out yet and nobody has got the project.
“We would be looking for them to use local labour.”