COUNCILLORS are due to consider a final update on a scheme which aims to improve some of Scarborough’s older town squares.
The grants scheme – which is known as the Scarborough Squares Scheme – is a partnership between English Heritage, Scarborough Council and North Yorkshire County Council.
It covers Alma, Pavilion, Trafalgar and West Squares as well as Albemarle Crescent.
According to a report by Pauline Elliott, the council’s head of regeneration and planning, the scheme began in April 2006 and was originally for three years – but in 2009 English Heritage agreed to extend it for an extra year.
Mrs Elliott said: “In addition English Heritage allocated funding of £36,300 towards reinstallment of the railings in Trafalgar Square which was matched by the borough council with £8,000 from the Capital Contingency Reserve and the remainder ‘in kind’ – ie salvaged railings.
“The partnership scheme concentrates on certain town squares which contribute to the character of the Conservation Area but which also have acknowledged low levels of economic activityand high levels of deprivation.”
According to her report a total of 32 properties were offered grants, totalling £233,100, against work valued at £488,960.50 – covering roughly half the cost – and all work has been completed.
Mrs Elliott said that Albemarle Crescent was an important town square in the heart of the Conservation Area. She added: “Many buildings in the crescent are houses in multiple occupation or short term rental flats and in need of repair.
“The partnership grants scheme has mostly concentrated on a group of buildings on the south side of the crescent.”
She said that no properties had taken advantage of the scheme in Alma Square which reflected the “generally good condition” of the buildings.
The report also highlighted that a 15 buildings were vacant and had become derelict in Pavilion Square. Mrs Elliott said: “Under new ownership the buildings have been renovated to a high standard.
“The Square’s Grant Scheme has helped this important piece of urban regeneration by contributing to the restoration and reinstatement of the cast iron frontage railings, balconies and other ironwork.”
Old photographs were used to recreate railings in Trafalgar Square. Mrs Elliott said the scheme had made a small but valuable contribution to urban regeneration in some of Scarborough’s important town squares.