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Earliest surviving secular building in High Wycombe to return to its hospitality roots

20 November 2019
England

The AHF has awarded a grant to Buckinghamshire Historic Buildings Trust to restore a historic inn in High Wycombe and bring it back into active use. The Wheatsheaf was used as an Inn from the 17th century, but is of 14th century origins. Apart from the Church, it’s believed to be the oldest surviving building in the town.

James Moir, Chair of the Buckinghamshire Historic Buildings Trust said, "The Trust is on track to regenerate this remarkable timber-framed building, dating back to 1399, in the centre of High Wycombe. This has only been possible with the generous assistance of The Architectural Heritage Fund; their initial award of a Project Viability Grant has already allowed us to explore a number of creative options for re-use. Receiving this next stage Project Development Grant is particularly thrilling as it means that we can now fully market test the chosen option and finalise the business plan as the crucial next step in securing the Wheatsheaf’s future.”

The Trust are intending to refurbish The Wheatsheaf to offer a combination of commercial and community use. There are plans for an experienced local bar business to establish a high-quality cocktail bar/restaurant on the ground floor and basement, focusing on working with local producers. Spaces will also be available to hire for a wide range of community activities for local organisations.  

The capital works will include extensive repairs to the timber frame and roof, restoring the shop-front to its Edwardian appearance and conservation works to fireplaces.

The AHF grant is one of the first awarded through the new Transforming Places through Heritage programme, which is designed to support the use of historic buildings in the regeneration of High Streets and Town Centres. James Moir said “These are exciting times as High Wycombe has also recently been successful with its Round 1 Bid to the Future High Streets Fund, so it really feels as if we will be playing a key role in this much wider initiative to inject some vibrancy back into the fine central historic quarter of the town.” 

For further information please contact:

ahf@ahfund.org.uk / 020 7925 0199

Notes to Editors:

Information on Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones is here https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/regenerating-historic-high-streets/

Information on MHCLG’s Future High Street Fund areas are here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/future-high-streets-fund-call-for-proposals