Celebrations were held to mark the end of an almost decade-long project aimed at preserving “some of the finest examples of Victorian and Edwardian” buildings in Leeds.
Nineteen regeneration schemes worth around £2m have been carried out as part of the Chapeltown Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).
Work to maintain the architectural character of buildings along Chapeltown Road, which started in 2009, was enabled with money raised partly through National Lottery funding.
The Northern School of Contemporary Dance hosted a celebration to mark the end of the project yesterday, and pupils from Bracken Edge Primary School sang for people who attended.
Lord Mayor and chairwoman of Chapeltown Heritage Advisory Group, Coun Jane Dowson, said: “I believe Chapeltown has some of the finest examples of Victorian and Edwardian properties in Leeds and now, thanks to the Townscape Heritage Initiative and the support of local businesses and the community they are preserved for future generations.
“Thanks must go to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their belief in this project and how historic and sympathetic renovation can revitalise an area. Thanks also to the Heritage Group, local residents who embraced the scheme and brought so much energy and life to it.”
Funded through a partnership of Leeds City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and supported by contributions from the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative and private investors, the project has refurbished buildings including the late Victorian villas along the eastern side of the road, and the section by Cantors takeaway.
The scheme has also helped create a number of jobs, including those at Best Nursery Childcare, and supported the development of six apartments for social rent.
The Chapeltown Heritage Advisory Group, which was set up to provide a platform for community involvement in the project, has also contributed towards five Leeds Civic Trust blue plaques celebrating notable people and buildings.
Coun Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Development and the Economy said: “The fantastic heritage improvements along Chapeltown Road have really enhanced the economic vibrancy of the area as a whole.
“This has been such a great opportunity to restore important historic buildings and to celebrate their legacy whilst at the same time continuing to support local businesses now and into the future.”
THI helps regenerate Conservation Areas “displaying social and economic need”.