Conservation Standards for Townscape Initiative Work

The Townscape Heritage Initiative is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Undertaking work to a high conservation standard is an essential part of property improvement work supported by the Fund.

Ahead of tendering opportunities arising later this year, we look at the types of work that the Heritage Lottery Fund will support, and the broad standards that will be expected.

Repair works

The objective of building repair works is to put into good repair the structure and external fabric of buildings. Repairs will be comprehensive in scope, using appropriate techniques or methods of construction and appropriate or traditional materials normally on a like- for- like basis. Substitute or artificial materials are generally unacceptable.

  • Structural repairs-  Consolidation or repair of existing structure is eligible providing that locally distinctive building techniques and materials are employed.
  • Structural timbers- Appropriate repairs to structural timbers including joists and roof structures are eligible. However, these should employ traditional methods and techniques. In- situ reinforced resin repairs would be unacceptable unless justified on the grounds of avoiding major disturbance of the historic fabric.
  • Dry rot and timber preservative treatments- Appropriate conservation- based dry rot eradication and timber preservative treatments are eligible for grant funding. These should use non- destructive techniques and non- toxic applications and be based on the expertise of an independent consultant with conservation expertise.
  • Damp- The scheme could include damp proofing using traditioinal techniques, but only where damp is causing structural damage to a building.
  • Roofs- Re- roofing  work may form part of the scheme. Re- roofing needs to be in traditional materials distinctive to the area, including in Bacup’s case slate and stone flag. Re- using sound existing materials, where possible is encouraged. Substandard, artificial or alternative materials for example concrete tiles will not be eligible for grant support.
  • Chimneys- Repairs to chimneys including lining and rebuilding, if structurally necessary, is eligible. The chimney will be reinstated to its historic height and profile as part of the work.
  • Lead- work- The scheme will include the repair or renewal of existing lead- work, the provision of weatherings and the re- forming of adequate falls, normally in line with the details and codes recommended by the Lead Sheet Association in ‘The Lead Sheet Manual’.  
  • Rainwater goods- The fund will support the replacement of rainwater goods or a rainwater disposal system provided that its detailing matches the historic material and sections. Generally this is in cast iron, but may include lead, timber or stone, depending on the building. Aluminium, plastic or GRP rainwater goods are not eligible for grant funding.
  • Stonework-  The repair of external stonework, including decorative elements is eligible, providing that it is to an appropriate conservation specification. Plastic or in- situ resin- based mortar repairs to stonework are not normally acceptable or eligible.
  • Rebuilding-  Selective rebuilding of stonework, if structurally necessary, and to an agreed specification is eligible for funding, using salvaged existing materials and/or new matching materials.
  • Re- pointing- Re- pointing that is structurally necessary, kept to the absolute minimum required and carried out to an appropriate specification, using lime- based mortar, will be part of the scheme.
  • Windows, Doors and external joinery- The Fund will support the repair, or if necessary, reinstatement of traditional windows and doors in their historic pattern and detail, using appropriate traditional materials and finishes. Well- designed secondary glazing may be considered if there is adequate internal space within the reveal without compromising panelling or shutters.
  • Render-  Repairs and renewal of limited areas of external render, where appropriate, could be included in the scheme.
  • Stone cleaning- The scheme could include the external cleaning of stonework in certain circumstances. Cleaning should be as non- abrasive as possible to avoid damage to the stonework. Any cleaning must be done to an approved specification, based on trials and carried out by specialist conservation contractors.


Restoration of Architectural Features

The Heritage Lottery Fund supports the restoration of architectural features as part of the programme. Restoration can, if necessary, include the reinstatement of missing details, but should be based on good documentary evidence. Restoration schemes based on conjecture, rather than photographic or drawn historic evidence, will not be eligible for support.

  • Historic patterns and detail- The Fund will support the repairs to the historic pattern and detail of distinctive architectural features, for example architectural sculpture, tiling and other historic finishes. The scheme could include the repair and reinstatement of other historic features such as decorative ironwork including finials, balconies, canopies and railings.
  • Detailing- The scheme could include the repair or reinstatement of applied details in appropriate materials including string courses, cornices, architraves columns and pilasters. Re- instatement and repair of historic joinery and glazing in historic shop fronts in appropriate materials and finishes will be a key element of the scheme.


Internal Works

In some cases, where there are vacant properties, the Heritage Lottery Fund will support internal works.

Proposals for such works should respect the character and special interest of the building internally as well as externally.

The aim of the Fund would be to ensure that the internal works help the historic floorspace to meet the needs of modern users. All aspects of physical works of conversion are eligible including necessary internal and external alterations, basic provision of heat, light and power, and basic decoration.

The scheme does not include furnishings and fittings  such as kitchen units and appliances, bathroom units and plumbing, shop fittings, restaurant fittings and so on. The scheme does will not include services beyond the basic provision of heat, light and power.


Further general information on the types and standards of work that the Townscape Heritage Initiative fund can be found here. For more specific queries please get in contact with us via the link here

You can keep up to date with the Townscape Heritage Initiative on Twitter ( @BacupTHI) to get all the latest news including arrangements for contractor open- days and other engagement events.

Return | Homepage | Print this page