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Market House in Penzance, Cornwall, England. Photo courtesy of Penzance Regeneration Company.
Market House in Penzance, Cornwall, England. Photo courtesy of Penzance Regeneration Company.

Further Grants Awarded to Help Transform Historic High Streets in England

20 December 2022

It has been just over three years since the beginning of The Architectural Heritage Fund’s (AHF) Transforming Places through Heritage (TPtH) programme, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. In this time, the AHF has distributed £11,487,686 in funding to a range of community-focused projects that will contribute to the transformation of high streets and town centres in England, helping them become thriving places, strengthening pride in place, and encouraging local economies to prosper.

Following the final Grants Panel of 2022, the AHF is delighted to announce that it has now awarded a further nine grants totalling £342,228 through the TPtH programme. You can find more information about three of the projects awarded funding below.


Image: Market House in Penzance. Photo courtesy of Penzance Regeneration Company. 

Market House, Penzance, Cornwall - Penzance Regeneration Company

Completed in 1838 to the designs of William Harris of Bristol, Market House is a Grade I-listed building, which originally housed a market in the western half and the town’s guildhall in the east. Over the years, it has also been home to a grammar school and retail units. Today, while Lloyds’ Bank occupies the western part of the large landmark building, more than half of Market House has been redundant for over ten years.

Penzance Regeneration Company has purchased Market House with an aim to renovate and bring the east side of the building back into use, allowing Lloyds’ to continue to occupy the west side as a tenant. The first and upper floor will house a food hub accommodating three street food providers and 59 covers. The lower floor will house a ‘town hub’, including hot-desking to be used additionally by the Town Council, Safer Penzance and Sustainable Penzance.

The AHF grant will fund surveys, heritage and design services, and engineering advice to help secure full planning consent and take the project forwards.


Image: 30 Chapel Street in Bradford. Photo courtesy of Impact Hub Bradford. 

30 Chapel Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire – Impact Hub Bradford

Dating back to the 1870s, 30 Chapel Street is a Grade II-listed former merchant’s warehouse situated in the Little Germany Conservation Area in Bradford. Having been vacant since the 2000s, the building requires both internal and external repairs, including to the roof and substructures. 

Impact Hub Bradford (IHB) plans to transform 30 Chapel Street into a multi-purpose facility for innovators, makers, artists, designers and community businesses. The restored building will include co-working space, studios, performance facilities and a café, as well as spaces for retail, artisanal food offerings, training and events. Alongside this, IHB will run programmes of support, including workshops, mentoring, knowledge sharing and consultancy, to encourage the establishment and growth of local entrepreneurs and businesses.

The AHF grant will fund the cost of an architect, quantity surveyor and structural engineer to help progress the project to the next stage.


Image: The Hydro Electric Building in Chester. Photo courtesy of Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises. 

Hydro Electric Building, Chester, Cheshire – Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises

The Hydro Electric Building is a Grade II-listed hydroelectric station built on the site of the 13th-century Dee Mills. Dating back to 1913, the neo-gothic structure is located between two main shopping streets in Chester city centre. Before it stopped producing power in 1951, it was the only hydroelectric plant in England generating power with tidal and headwaters.

Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises (CHASE) plan to convert the building into a scientific and environmental educational centre with a riverside café. Specifically, CHASE want to develop the turbine hall into an educational space to promote green careers and other environmental education; convert the roof space into a café and retail area; make the building accessible for all; and restore the hydro to generate electricity for the project. There is also significant interest in using hydro power for electric vehicle charging at the adjacent council car park. Additionally, once cleared of redundant pumping equipment, the main turbine hall will provide space to house a variety of exhibitions and displays. The new hydro equipment will be small enough to fit into the space under the building.

The AHF grant will fund the cost of a project manager, architect, business consultant and fundraising manager to help develop plans for the project.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) 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. It provides advice, grants and loans, and is the only specialist heritage social investor in the UK.
  2. The AHF’s Transforming Places through Heritage programme in England, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, supports projects that will contribute to the transformation of high streets and town centres.
  3. For press enquiries, please contact Tia Jackson at

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