Valley Heritage is a proud recipient of the Transformational Capital Grant funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund, in support of the Alliance @ the Lancashire & Yorkshire project. The grants are awarded to charities and social enterprises with ‘fresh, imaginative ideas for revitalising their local high streets and town centres in England.’

About the Project

18-20 Market Street, Bacup: Transformational Project Grant of £311,271

Alliance at the former Lancashire & Yorkshire Bank

Valley Heritage CIO are converting a prominent heritage building, the former Yorkshire & Lancashire Bank building (built in 1878) on Bacup’s high street. The town is referred to as ‘the besValley Heritage CIO are converting a prominent heritage building, the former Yorkshire & Lancashire Bank building (built in1878) on Bacup’s high street. The town is referred to as ‘the best preserved mill town in England’ but suffers from significant economic and social problems. The repurposing of the building has the potential to make an enormous difference by helping promote Bacup as a place to live and work and acting as a catalyst for further high street regeneration. The building will be converted into mixed commercial and residential use with co-working desk space on the ground floor for rent for local micro-businesses and on the upper floors affordable housing for two flats and supported accommodation for local young people at risk of homelessness.

We are delighted to receive the grant. Valley Heritage and our partners have worked incredibly hard to get to this point in a short space of time. The project seems only more relevant in the current climate, with communities becoming more connected to their town centres and wanting a wider range of local facilities to meet their needs. The project will provide homes and shared workspace at the heart of the town centre, supporting initiatives such as High Street Heritage Action Zone and, fingers crossed, Bacup’s bid for the Future High Streets Fund. We have more work left to do, not least raising the final funding. The confidence AHF have shown in the project will certainly help with this.

Stephen Anderson, Chair of Valley Heritage

What This Means To Valley Heritage.

How You Can Help

Valley Heritage is continuing to raise match funding for the development of the Alliance project. Please keep an eye out for future fundraising initiatives. In the short term, we accept donations via PayPal to support our work. Click here to donate now.

About the Fund

The AHF (the Architectural Heritage Fund) is delighted to announce today the second round of Transformational Project Grants to charities and social enterprises with fresh, imaginative ideas for revitalising their local high streets and town centres in England.

The grants, which will support the capital costs of conserving and adapting historic buildings, have been awarded under the AHF’s Transforming Places Through Heritage programme. Transforming Places contributes to the regeneration and renewal of high streets and town centres in England by supporting charities and social enterprises to create exciting, sustainable new community uses for redundant or underused historic buildings. The programme is funded by a £15 million grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

Since starting the programme in 2019, the AHF has given £4.89 million in grants to 76 projects in England.

The programme exists within a wider set of interventions aiming to revive high streets in England. The other programmes are the High Street Heritage Action Zones, being led by Historic England, and the Future High Streets Fund, administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and involving a number of local authorities. Many of the organisations and projects awarded grants by the AHF will be helping deliver key projects within some of these areas.

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

“This funding will help improve high streets in a number of places across the country, preserving heritage sites and historic buildings. We want to level up communities and help breathe new life into town centres to create jobs and economic growth.”  

 As high streets and town centres across England reopen after lockdown, the AHF is aware that Covid-19 has now compounded the huge challenges facing England’s high streets and town centres. Already in sharp decline due to online shopping and high costs, the pandemic lockdown has driven down footfall, and is likely to continue to do so for some time.

The AHF, along with other sector partners, has recognised for some time that the role of the high street needs to be rethought if it is to survive, and that there needs to be a better use of spaces to help create a sense of place, identity and civic pride that deepens connections between local communities and their high streets and town centres.

What drives the AHF’s transformation programme is that redundant heritage buildings can become high street assets by encouraging community ownership of these assets and investing in charities and social enterprises diversifying their uses so that they serve the local community.

The AHF is now inviting applications for the next round of Transformational Project Grants. The deadline for applications is 30th September 2020. Details on how to apply and eligibility are available at

Matthew Mckeague, CEO, Architectural Heritage Fund, said:

“This new round of Transforming Places grants is both timely and absolutely essential, supporting many recent recommendations, including those in the recently published Grimsey Review: Covid-19 Supplement for Town Centres. The AHF grants empower and finance those charities and social enterprises that are stepping up to facilitate change in their high streets and town centres by redesigning and diversifying the use of historic buildings, encouraging a brighter future for the towns of which they form a part.”

An important aim of the Transforming Places Through Heritage programme is to encourage a more diverse range of charities and social enterprises to see the particular value of reusing historic buildings and in helping to diversify the range of uses within town centres. By supporting these projects now, the AHF hopes to encourage other organisations to consider the adaptation and reuse of historic buildings and to locate these projects in prominent and central locations. This will help to realise a number of other positive benefits, including helping these buildings continue to contribute towards local character and community identity, reducing environmental impacts by adapting an existing structure, and in encouraging higher quality design standards.

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