Prescot THI Blog

First THI Building Project Complete! :-) :-) :-)

“Two months without a blog post, Owen. What gives?”

It’s been a busy time for the THI with so much going on I haven’t had the time to report it all! I’ll do my best to give the latest news over the next week or so.

Promise.

I’ll give the biggest THI news first: our first ever building project, 40 High Street, is now completed. All that’s left is for someone to move into the refurbished affordable flat that was empty for years before the new improvements were made.

As well as being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Council, this particular scheme has benefited from a Living Over the Shops (LOTS) contribution from the Merseyside-wide RESTORE Consortium and a contribution from Knowsley Housing Trust. All of these schemes were seeking similar objectives, namely new affordable homes from empty floor space, so it makes perfect sense to put these different funds together.

The grants do not cover 100% of the eligible costs, so the property owner has made a significant contribution and has done lots of additional work to the property in addition to the grant-aided works off their own bat to the flat and the ground floor shop. A big thanks to Prescot Dry Cleaners for gamely soldiering on in a temporary shop while the works were underway in the dead of winter.

The architect for the restoration and repair scheme was Richard Roberts of Cass Associates of Liverpool, and the lead contractor Anchor Builders of Prescot. The years of accumulated paint was carefully removed from the front and side elevations by Calvey Restoration of Childwall. Joinery for the shopfront and the replacement rear windows was made and supplied by Edwards and Hampson of Bootle.

That’s one THI project building completed, just another 29 to 33 to go! 

A picture paints a thousand words so here are photos of the project:

Before and after. Can you guess which is which?!

After the paint was removed, it was time to repoint. 3:1 sand:lime mortar was used on the front elevation which dates from c.1790 and is made of handmade bricks. The bright red corner bricks are engineering bricks from around 1920.

Meanwhile, around the side we found that the gable wall had been rebuilt around 1920 and the mortar used at the was full of ash, making the pointing almost black. We used the same mortar as the front, but a dye was applied to replicate the original dark colour.

A quick reminder of what the brickwork looked like before…

It was a mystery what the gutter was made of until they got up there and started taking the paint off. The answer: sandstone! Those things you can just see on top of the lead are gutter clips lying on their sides- it seems in the past someone improvised a way of stopping the rain running over the edge. This has now been fixed properly.

The wonky stone gutter needed re-setting, repointing and re-lining in lead so that it drained properly. The brickwork of the wall below is still drying out from being soaked through for many years. That explains why so many buddleias were growing on the window sills!

The ‘unsung’ repairs: investigating and correcting wonky floors and checking and strengthening the ties between the walls.

We wanted a traditional style shopfront that was ‘3D’ rather than flat and had a bit of visual interest to it. This was achieved.

Obscure fact: the HLF does not fund new kitchens or bathrooms, but here is a picture of the new kitchen anyway.

All mod cons: heating, lighting, painted plaster, carpets, a view for short people, a view for tall people. Those windows are refurbished historic windows by the way…

A view of two Prescot insititutions: M Ray’s Bakery and (in the distance) Prescot Cables FC. Who could ask for anything more?!

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Get involved

Help shape the heritage initiative by taking part in consultations, or celebrate Prescot's history at events taking place throughout the project. Schools and colleges can also get hands-on with the past through activities and workshops for groups.

Heritage skills training

Historic buildings need people with the right knowledge to look after them. The THI will give people in and entering the local construction industry the opportunity to gain new skills and experience.

The THI will also help people find out more about careers in heritage.

Get in touch

Keep up-to-date by following us on twitter or find out more at 'Space to Create', the THI information centre on Eccleston Street.

You can also contact Owen Barton, THI Officer, by phone on 0151 443 2757 or by emailing owen.barton@knowsley.gov.uk.


Apply for grants

Owners of certain buildings in the Prescot Conservation Area can apply for grants to repair, restore and re-use their property.

Eligible properties are marked in red and orange.

Read the guide to applying for grants (PDF) and eligibility criteria (PDF) documents for detailed information about grants.

Conservation area appraisals

The conservation area appraisal (PDF) is a detailed assessment of Prescot's most historic areas.

The appraisal appendices (PDF) contain more detailed information and the management plan (PDF) outlines how the area will be managed.

Heritage Lottery Funded

© Knowsley Council 2013