Work to restore Accrington’s historic Town Square is set to start at the end of August as contract details are now finalised.
The restored town square will commemorate the sacrifice and bravery of the Accrington Pals and will be the centrepiece of a project which will also see the restoration of some of Accrington’s key historic retail and commercial buildings in the town centre.
Cabinet Member for Accrington Town Centre, Cllr Clare Cleary, said; “These are exciting times for Accrington. I’m looking forward to seeing the works progress on site as a new phase of history unfolds, with the creation of a new Town Square and public realm scheme outside Accrington Town Hall and Market Hall to commemorate the Accrington Pals.”
Cllr Cleary added; “The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) team have worked hard to finalise the details of the scheme since the planning permission was granted in January this year. A detailed tendering process has taken place and the team are pleased to announce that the contract has been awarded to NMS Engineering Ltd from Wigan. Hyndburn Borough Council and Lancashire County Council will continue working together to make the plans become reality over the coming months.”
Designed by Landscape Architects IBI Group, the concept reimagines the historic square, with its shop front heritage buildings. The simple, high quality and flexible space encourages community use and local events, whilst keeping the listed Town Hall and Market Hall as prominent features. Funding has been secured from Hyndburn Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Cllr Cleary added; “Honouring the Accrington Pals is at the heart of this scheme and this will be realised through six bespoke benches supported by granite pieces, containing text and images depicting the last 300 years’ history of Accrington with the battalion as a central theme.”
The initial phase of the works is targeted at the public realm areas in front of the Town Hall and Market on Blackburn Road. The second phase on Blackburn Road between Eagle Street and St James’ Street will follow on in the New Year. The works are scheduled for completion by July 2018.
“It will also have an ongoing historical significance by honouring the Accrington Pals, and provide a public realm setting which compliments key buildings in the surrounding area.
“This marks a new phase in the ongoing regeneration of Accrington and I look forward to seeing the scheme begin to take shape.”
County Councillor Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “This scheme will deliver a high quality public space, providing a focal point for events and creating an attractive environment which helps to support the local economy.”
All the shops surrounding the site will receive letters with contact details for further information. Meanwhile, the designs and documents submitted for planning can still be viewed on the Hyndburn Borough Council’s website in the Planning section, Reference 11/16/0468.