What is happening with the Project?

The Bacup Townscape Heritage Initiative is nearing completion and after 5 years of successful delivery is due to close on the 30th June 2019. Since the project started 15 properties have seen extensive building repairs and artchitectural features, of these 4 properties where brought back from derelict vacant states into viable commercial premises. Of these 4 properties, 2 now have tenants.

A run down of the properties included in the THI project are:

Pioneer, REAL and 33-3 St James Street (excluding 19, 17 and 11 St James Street)

Phase One: 33 St James Street is a prominent building on the corner of Union Street and St James Street occupied by a RSPCA charity shop. Built as a purpose designed shop constructed during the mid Victorian period it as recently undergone extensive restoration and enhancement works delivered as part of the Bacup THI.

The approved works include the installation of new shop fronts based on authentic Victorian era shop front designs. The new shop front installation has included the provision of new timber signage fascias designed as part of an integrated shop front surround including timber cornices, consoles and pilasters. The new signage fascia’s, and proposed signage, replace a number of large white acrylic fascia signs previously fixed above external roller shutter boxes removed as part of the THI improvement works.

Pioneer Building is an important landmark building at the gateway to Bacup town centre on Rochdale Road. It was constructed by the Bacup Co-operative Society and opened as a department store in 1914. The buildings as recently undergone extensive restoration and enhancement works delivered through the Bacup THI.

These works include the installation of new shop fronts based on the orgininal shop front designs for the building from 1914. The new shop front installation as included the provision of new timber fascias that reinstate the orginal location for shop signage on the building frontage. These have replaced a continuous large white acrylic fascia with aluminium trim running the full length of the building, and individual shop signs in a variety of styles that obscured key areas of shop frontages allowing clearstorey glazing to be reinstated.

Watch a short video to hear comments from one of the properties completed in Phase 1 here.

Phase 2: has been completed. Many of the properties along St James Street have new Victorian style hardwood shop fronts, and new sash windows. The buildings have seen inappropriate and deteriorating mortar hacked out and the stonework cleaned. Once prepped they have been repointed using a hot lime mortar mix, a traditional mortar favoured for its ability to reduce damp ingress and to allow the building to breathe. All of the shop fronts have been painted in traditional colours from historic Bacup streetscenes. The colour for each building has been specifically chosen by the Conservation Officer and represents the types of colours used through the years by specific businesses; each building is as unique now as when it was being built.


Phase 3a and 3b: works are complete with some minor snagging ongoing. The transformation has been outstanding. The shops are evolving on a daily basis and the building repairs are now almost complete. Continuing the sucess of the second phase of properties, the remaining buildings along St James Street have also seen their architectural features restored. Another feature that has been included is the ornate gates and railings manufactured and installed by local company, Park Mill Engineering, which has replaced the roller shutters for the external protection of the building. These gates and railings sit along side thicker, tougher glass and also internal lattice shutters. 

Here is Steve, from Broxton Signs (based in Weir), using the traditional method of hand painting the sign for D&A Gregory & Sons.

The THI project is also working in partnership with Lancashire County Council to deliver a public realm improvement scheme. Please click here for more information. The public realm enhancements were completed in Novemeber 2018. The feedback from the changes and enhancements has been very complementary Bacup Town centre has become a much more pedestrian friendly town for residents and visitors alike.

Here are some before and after photos of some of the Phase 3 properties. The transformation is striking.

9 St James Street - JD Discounts - the largest shop front on St James Street, the angular shop front was brought square with the pavement and painted a rich Chesnut brown. The windows were replaced with hard wood sash windows and trhe building stone work extensiely cleaned and re-pointed with the hot lime mortar mix. Roof works and other building repairs were also completed.

13 St James Street - G & J Domestics has a new timber, Victorian style shop front and new timber pilasters with a glazed, moulded, timber panel Victorian style door. The hand painted sign has been completed. The ornate gates and railings have been finished in Slate Grey and sit perfectly against the Leaf Green of the shop front. The weighted sash windows, cleaned stonework and traditional hot lime mix pointing finishes the look.