Important buildings at risk in one of South Lakeland’s most historic villages are to be saved and improved thanks to a new partnership.
Almost half a million pounds now looks likely to be spent restoring key buildings in Burton-in-Kendal.
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), Historic England and Burton-in-Kendal Parish Council will now work in partnership to have the conservation area removed from a national ‘at risk’ register.
SLDC will contribute £35,000 a year for the next three years to help residents fund their repair and restoration projects.
As well as the contributions from individual property owners, the parish council will give £5,000 a year for the next three years to help improve The Square in the village and Historic England is expected to confirm a grant of £137,000.
Coun Matt Severn, SLDC’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Media and Leisure, said: “We take the fabric of our historic heritage very seriously and by using a mixture of enforcement and encouragement we will help the owners of key buildings in Burton-in-Kendal to ensure their properties are improved.
“When we were notified that the conservation area was being added to Historic England’s at risk register this council didn’t just note it but was prepared to act quickly rather than wait.”
SLDC is also giving the parish council an additional grant of £17,000 to be spent in the conservation area.
Councillors heard how monitoring in Burton-in-Kendal over a five to six year period recorded ongoing physical decay, an increase in vacant buildings, the loss of architectural fabric in a key group of buildings and deterioration in the condition of the public realm.
Eight properties in the village have been identified as being in specific need of attention.
The new Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas will assist with grants to help property owners repair and restore their neglected or deteriorating buildings.
A Village Design Guide will also be developed, giving guidance to cover changes to existing heritage as well as the potential design of any new development within or adjacent to the conservation area.
“This is an exciting project which has the full cross-party support of the council. We now look forward to working with our partners, Historic England and Burton-in-Kendal Parish Council, to halt the decline and ensure this historic environment is improved and cherished for generations come,” added Coun Severn.