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The AHF appreciates that neglected buildings which are all too familiar in our towns, cities and countryside can, with a little imagination and a lot of enthusiasm, be rescued to become assets for their communities by people wanting to make a difference. The AHF has helped hundreds of organisations throughout the UK to do exactly that.

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AHF supports Granby 4 Streets CLT in critical phase of its development

Architectural Heritage Fund

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The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has awarded Granby 4 Streets CLT £29,800 in its latest round of ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ funding. The funding will support the CLT during a critical phase of its work developing community assets, enterprise space and community led housing in Granby, Liverpool.

Granby 4 Streets CLT (Beaconsfield, Cairns, Jermyn & Ducie Streets, which all cross the main Granby Street) is a historic area of 1880s terraced housing in Liverpool L8, near two of the city’s largest parks.

Once a thriving cosmopolitan high street of over 90 shops, Granby Street and the surrounding area was under threat of demolition for over 25 years. Sustained campaigning by Granby Residents’ Association saved these four streets as did decades of direct, creative community actions – which included planting along the streets, painting the boarded-up houses and holding a monthly street market. These attracted the support of a social investor, who offered the CLT a loan on generous terms, the financial basis for developing viable alternative re-development proposals. Liverpool City Council responded, reversing the policy of wholesale demolition and transferred 10 houses to the CLT. Working closely with the young architect and design collective, Assemble, the imaginative refurbishment of these properties led to Assemble winning the Turner Prize 2015.

The CLT started the area-wide development that now combines several partners - housing associations, the city council, community organisations and a social enterprise – together creating many solutions in a community-led regeneration programme.

The CLT is currently developing a portfolio of capital projects focusing on Affordable Housing, Granby Winter Garden, the 4 Corners and 143 Granby. Together these assets form one of the few remaining Victorian neighborhood streetscapes of the kind in Liverpool. The community ownership model aims to preserve the physical heritage, whilst building a solid foundation for future social and economic renewal that will benefit the local community.

The AHF grant will support the organisation through a critical period in its development and while the CLT is part-way through complex capital projects. The Four Corners will be redeveloped as workspaces and a retail unit, and the Winter Garden will provide an arts and community meeting space alongside an indoor garden in two of the houses that were too damaged to bring back into use as housing.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, commented: ‘I am very glad we are able to support Granby 4 Streets CLT at this vital phase of its development. Although not listed, these houses are very much a part of the fabric of this community and imaginative adaptation and regeneration is the model the community wants to see here, a model we’re very happy to support.’

Anthony Engi Meacock of Assemble Studio commented: ‘It has been fantastic working with the CLT to create a new community owned public space out of shell of two buildings that without intervention would be close to collapse, and exciting that after years of work it will be opening this year. This funding comes at a critical time and will enable us to maintain momentum as we shift focus to restoring the four corners into public use’

Hazel Tilley, long-term resident, community activist, founder member and Board member of the CLT: "We can't change the world, we can only change our tiny bit. I look out the window and I'm totally cheered by seeing houses with people living in them. Bearing in mind we're ordinary people, what we've done is magnificent."

Editors' Notes:

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1) The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2) Funding for this project was generously provided under the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme.

3) For press enquiries please contact the AHF at 020 79250199 / ahf@ahfund.org.uk