The money will help to pay for renovation and repairs to the Pannier Market roof, bring the Butchers Hall back into long term use, upgrade public areas in the town centre and provide grants for property owners to rejuvenate premises in the King Street, Market Street and West Street area.
The successful bid to the Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme is national recognition of the architectural importance of Tavistock and a significant achievement as Tavistock is the only town in the South West to win this level of funding this year.
The HLF confirmed the £980,000 grant earlier this month (September) and it is the culmination of six years work by a partnership of local councils, businesses and community groups, coordinated by the Tavistock Townscape Heritage Partnership and administered by Tavistock Town Council.
The money has been allocated from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) programme which helps communities improve the built historic environment to stimulate economic regeneration for the benefit of local residents, workers and visitors.
The HLF grant will be matched by an equal amount from businesses and local authorities providing an overall boost of £2million for the local economy.
Tavistock Townscape Heritage Partnership Chairman, John Taylor, said: “This is an historic day in more ways than one. The local partnership has held together through difficult times and we are now going to reap the regeneration rewards for the town and its residents and businesses.”
Tavistock Town Council Mayor, Cllr Harry Smith, said: “The town council is proud to have led this process over the past couple of years and expects to be able to safeguard and significantly improve the market facilities it can offer to the town.
“The Pannier Market is the town’s unique selling point, both in terms of its commerce and historic environment whilst the opening up of the Butchers Hall will increase that offer.”
The project won initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund in March last year when a development grant of £36,000 was secured to progress the plans and make a second round bid.
Cllr Philip Sanders, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: “This will help to turn round the fortunes of parts of the town which have been struggling over the past five years.It is particularly important for the fringe areas including King Street, Market Street and West Street which are the town’s most vulnerable areas.
“We hope to give a boost to existing businesses, attract more visitors and shoppers, whilst underpinning the importance of Tavistock as part of the World Heritage Site.”
Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “HLF investment goes well beyond the bricks and mortar of a building. THI schemes can really help turn around local economies, not only by improving how they look and feel but by creating new opportunities for those who live and work there. We’re delighted to join the many groups and businesses in Tavistock who are committed to ensuring a bright future for their town.”
Renovation work and enhancements are expected to start early next year.
For more details about the Tavistock Townscape Heritage project or to get involved, contact Christopher Pancheri at Tavistock Town Council on 01822 613 529.