A four-year £1.8 million scheme to enhance an area of Boston's historic town centre is to be launched this spring.
The Boston Townscape Heritage Project will provide grant funding to help with conservation repairs and reinstatement of buildings within the scheme area. Working with property owners the enhancement to properties will aim to reinstate a positive traditional character in the area.
Grants of 50 per cent for repairs and 85 per cent for reinstatement are available until July 2022.
The scheme area includes the eastern boundary of the Market Place, Dolphin Lane and Pump Square and individual buildings eligible for grant funding have been identified.
The project will be delivered through a partnership between Boston Borough Council and the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Other partner organisations with an interest in Boston's heritage and future prosperity will be asked for their input.
Boston's rich and unique historic environment, dating from the medieval period, will be explored, celebrated and conserved through the four-year scheme of capital works and an innovative activity programme.
The project will build upon the momentum gained from recent heritage-led regeneration initiatives in the town and will also work collaboratively with local partners on activities relating to the Hanse League membership and Mayflower 2020.
During the development stage of the project all eligible properties were assessed by Anderson & Glenn Conservation Architects for their repair needs and opportunities to reinstate architectural features to enhance these buildings.
Consultation with all owners of eligible properties was carried out. A detailed scheme plan has been prepared that sets out the properties that will be targeted within the scheme. This will include 14 buildings in the Market Place, on Dolphin Lane and in Pump Square. There is a total of 24 eligible properties included within the scheme, ten others held in reserve, all of which could benefit from grant support.
Improvement to Dolphin Lane itself will also take place; the blockwork channel along the first two thirds of Dolphin Lane and wholesale replacement of blockwork by York stone slabs in the final third of Dolphin Lane and Mitre Lane will be included.
The amenity area on Dolphin Lane will also be enhanced, with the removal of the central planter, and renewal of paving. There will also be a new art installation in this area, enhancing the visitor experience of the area.
Residents and owners will be involved in the design and creation of this artwork and inspiration will be drawn from the heritage of the town.
An associated activity programme will focus on young people helping them learn about their local heritage, creating an important sense of place and personal identity, as well as developing a sense of civic pride and engagement in community action.
The activity plan for this project includes:
Establishing a Boston Townscape Heritage Youth Board to involve young people in decision making, to give them practical work experience opportunities and to allow them to develop complimentary small projects such as heritage trails, Youtube videos promoting the area and performance art;
Heritage skills courses including master classes in conservation skills for college vocational students, repair and maintenance courses and workshops for listed building owners;
Building recording training will be offered to young people by members of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology Building Recording Group and the research will be used to inform new interpretation boards for Dolphin Lane and Pump Square;
A budget for an annual medieval market has been included to celebrate the Hanse league membership and young people will be encouraged to organise and promote the event to gain work experience and to work with a wide range of communities to reflect the Continental trade.