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Work Underway on St James Street Regeneration

Work is underway on an ambitious project to revitalise Waltham Forest’s historic St James Street. The scheme will regenerate this key part of Walthamstow town centre by preserving and enhancing the shop fronts and key historic buildings in the St James Conservation Area.

The £2.9m scheme has received a grant of £1.46m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with Waltham Forest Council investing £1.34m and other contributions coming from local businesses and volunteers.

The St James Conservation Area will benefit from vital building conservation and repair work on up to 50 properties, including the restoration of historic features. Construction is due to complete by spring 2017. The Council has appointed Mulalley as the contractor for the building and shopfront scheme.

Cleaning, repair and restoration work to the upper floors of 39-41 High Street (Golden Cake) has now been completed. Scaffolding has now been erected around a further 12 buildings to allow work to take place on their upper floors. As part of the work the historic ‘griffin’ statues will be restored in their original locations.

There will also be a number of public realm improvements including the junction at St James Street and the High Street being transformed into a visually appealing ‘gateway’ to the area. Other work will include improvements to pavements and lighting, and the removal of unnecessary signage and clutter. Work on the public realm improvements is due to begin in late summer 2016, and will be completed by spring 2017. The Council’s highways contractor, Riney, will carry out the public realm improvements.

There will also be a wide-ranging community and business support programme, including support for businesses in building conservation and maintenance, heritage training for schools, colleges and local residents, and a series of local history activities and workshops. A Project Hub will be located in The Mill for people to find out more about the project and how they can get involved.

Cllr Clare Coghill, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets said: “I’m delighted that work is getting underway on this incredibly important scheme. This is a fantastic opportunity to preserve and restore the historic architecture of the St James Street Conservation Area, and we are putting a really exciting activity programme in place so that residents and businesses have the opportunity to get involved.

“The Council is fully committed to improving its High Streets, and this scheme will be a key part of Walthamstow’s ongoing regeneration.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “HLF investment goes well beyond the bricks and mortar of a building. Townscape Heritage Initiative schemes can help boost local economies, not only by improving how they look and feel, but by prompting business and boosting the sense of pride in an area. We’re pleased to support Waltham Forest Council in celebrating and restoring Waltham Forest’s historic St James Street.”

Mulalley Operations Director Colin Watson said: “Mulalley is proud to be working on the St James Street restoration works. We are using our proven expertise of carrying out similar heritage works to preserve and enhance these historic buildings. We hope that residents and local businesses will be pleased with the end result and that this thriving street will be enjoyed by all for many years to come.”

The Walthamstow St James Conservation Area is a historically important commercial area containing various examples of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century architecture developed by the local Victorian property owner, TC Warner.

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