Tyldesley’s High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme is one of only two in the country that are community-led, and the restoration of the prominent shopfront site at the corner of Elliott Street and Lime Street has been very much a community effort.
I supported For Tyldesley CIC as Lead Conservation Architect, Principal Designer and Contractor Administrator for a few of the projects. Our aim was to ensure historic detailing and features were repaired and reinstated, bringing back the character of the historic high street.
More than a shopfront restoration
The project was not without its challenges. Constructed around 1786, the building had been altered many times and there were latent structural issues.
There were also limited historic photos of its previous incarnations. This meant a great deal of desk-based research and taking cues from other local buildings to design its restored appearance.
The project was about more than just the shopfronts. The buildings also needed structural works, removal of asbestos and cement-based render, new windows, roof and gutter repairs, and the rebuilding of part of the chimney.
It also included the creation of the HAZ office next door, and a new stairwell to the first-floor flat, all enhancing the viability of the building for future use.
A community project
We received planning permission in early 2021, considered tenders, and started works that July.
One interesting site discovery was a historic signage panel. This was restored by a signwriter after the careful removal of paint layers and research by the local history group. We also invited the community to join us for tours of the site and the wider conservation area.
Locals were full of praise when the works were completed in July 2022. To quote commenters on For Tyldesley social media: “I love the … way the whole building looks like it’s been brought back to life.” “Massive improvement.”
This project has not only transformed this part of Tyldesley high street, but it has also helped inform the local shopfront guide to support the revitalisation of the whole conservation area.