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Historic England joins MP and Council leaders to see progress in Maryport’s historic high street

Luke Stamper

Luke Stamper

Posted on 14 March 2023

Historic England’s Director for the North and Levelling Up visited Maryport to see how almost £1.1 million of funding is being used to help transform the harbour town.

On Friday 10March, Trevor Mitchellmet with Mark Jenkinson MPand Councillor Mike Johnson, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, to see the ongoing initiatives taking place.

Set up in 2020 by Allerdale Borough Council, Historic England and other local partners, the High Street Heritage Action Zone is delivering more than £560,000 of government funding, alongside additional investment from the Borough Council and the Future High Street Fund programme which brings the total to £1,076,650.

Local businesses are also involved, with buildings in Senhouse Streetsoon to become a banking hub with upstairs residential conversions, also becoming part of the programme to restore shop fronts and enhance the historic character of the area.

Other shop fronts which have benefitted from the scheme include the Heron Foods supermarket, and the Knoxwood shop at 90 Senhouse Street, with more in progress. One of these is 22-24 Curzon Street which will become home toapop-up Maritime Museum with more residential accommodation above.

In addition to providing direct funding, the High Street Heritage Action Zone is complementing the Future High Street Fund programme in the town. That includes bringing 16 additional residential units back in to use in the Love Maryport Living scheme. Historic England has supported the whole of the effort through new listings of historic buildings, and undertaking research into Maryport’s heritage to help inform and shape the overall package of improvements. 

Local Cultural Consortium
The capital spending programme is supported by the work of a local cultural consortium which is working with people in the town to celebrate the past, present, and future of Maryport. 

Friday’s visit included the Irish Street ‘Latrine’ public loos mural, the first cultural programme project, created by Maryport artist Alan Roper.  The‘Made in Maryport’ Cultural Programme is working with local communities including children, young people, and families to create an annual series of events designed to bring life and vitality to the town.

Current activity includes a series of local author talks and activities in town centre locations, including the refurbished Maryport Town Hall, as part of Maryport’s Arts and Literature Festival, heldover the weekend of 3rd-5th March.

Trevor Mitchell, Historic England’s Director for the North and Levelling Up, said: “It was a privilege to visit Maryport alongside Mark and ourcouncil partners, to talkwith local people involved in the programme and see at first hand what a difference is being made. We’re seeing Maryport’s unique heritage being harnessed to draw in investment for the high street and involving the community to improve lives and enhance people’s sense of pride in their home town. Together we are creating more reasons to visit the town centre and more places to live in it.”

Mark Jenkinson MP said: “I’m delighted to see that the government funding we’ve secured for Maryport is having a positive impact on people’s lives.  The sense of pride in the town, which I see as really important to the idea of levelling up, is palpable when you look at the improvements and speak with local people.”

Councillor Mike Johnson, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, added: “It was great to welcome representatives of Historic England to discuss the work we are doing to transform Maryport. We are involved in a number of exciting projects to be proud of. Seeing the local community get involved too, through Maryport Business Group and initiatives like the Paint the Town project, which is offering free timber and masonry paint to anyone within the high street zone, as well the activities of the Cultural Consortium, is what this is all about. We’re working hard to revive, regenerate and restore this town.”