Burnley’s Lower St James Street Revival: £2.6M Investment Restores Victorian Glory, Boosts Local Economy

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The Restoration and Revitalization of Lower St. James Street in Burnley

Revival of Lower St. James Street in Burnley: A Cornerstone of Heritage and Innovation

Our source reported a resurgence in the vibrancy of Lower St James Street, which was expected to decline, but instead blossomed, owing to a £2.6 million funding boost. The town’s MP Antony Higginbotham, Historic England, Burnley Council, and local residents were among those who applauded the outstanding accomplishment.

The High Street Heritage Action Zone Initiative

The rehabilitation of seven major Victorian buildings was an integral part of the 2020 initiation. The restoration project did not merely fix structural weaknesses but breathed new life into traditional buildings, converting some into social and creative venues. The renovation of these edifices was core to enhancing the town’s historical character and enticing the creative industries back into the local economy.

Creating Opportunities and Increasing Commercial Space

Through the project, more than 500 square meters of new commercial floor space became available, and a further 340 square meters of underused space underwent rejuvenation. The extra functional space not only enhances the town’s business and physical appeal but also presents more opportunities for local business growth and development.

Public Space Improvements and the Cultural Impact

The initiative also made noteworthy contributions to improvement in public spaces, introducing wider walkways, decorative planters, and striking artwork. These improvements bolstered the area’s allure, stimulating an upward trend in foot traffic.

The Empire Buildings as a New Creative Hub

The revival plan saw the transformation of the derelict Empire Buildings into a bustling center for the creative industry. This metamorphosis demonstrates a forthcoming wave of local business investment and a promising drop in high street vacancy rates, showcasing the project’s lasting impact on Burnley’s economy.

A Community Driven Endeavour

  • The community embraced the transformation project, as members were excited to help restore their town’s historical treasures and shared pride in their enhanced cultural heritage.
  • Heritage skills workshops inspired local individuals to participate in the project, enhancing both cultural involvement and a sense of community ownership in the renovation endeavors.
  • The community’s engagement reaped significant rewards, with high street footfall statistics showing a considerable increase from 2021 to 2023, a remarkable testament to the remodelling plan’s effectiveness.

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