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The primary purpose of this Heritage Lottery Fund supported Townscape Heritage project is to restore the historic nature of Skelton centre. Design proposals were produced during the project’s development phase to allow the submission of a Round Two bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in March 2016. The Approved Purposes defined in the Heritage Lottery Fund approval letter dated 20th June 2016 define the parameters of the Project:
For the Building Works:
There are some 32 retail properties, including one double fronted and one multi-fronted property and one residential property for which various levels of shop-front replacement and window replacement will be undertaken.
For the Public Realm Works:
Surface treatment, including paving, parking, planting and street furniture, of the High Street, exclusive of the carriageway, between its junction with Coniston Road and its junction with The Hills, inclusive and extending along the frontage of Nos 127-131, the Post Office to the east and No. 73, High Street to the west. This will be the largest component of the public realm works.
Landscaping of a small area to the east of the junction between the Hills and Skelton High Street.
Provision of a raised bed and mural base located opposite the junction of the High Street with Coniston Road.
Supporting this core programme is an Activity Statement The Heritage Lottery Fund describes the Statement as:
“….the activities you will do to ensure that people will have engaged with your townscape….. to help people understand the heritage. You will need to include training activities that will enable more people to gain essential skills and help them care for the heritage of their townscape.”
The Activity Statement defines nine separate activities. One of the nine activities concerns the Skelton Villages Civic Pride coffee mornings; this is Activity 7 in the Statement. Another relates to post-completion building maintenance; this is Activity 9.
The remaining seven Activities are all geared to examine, expand upon or document, in one way or another, the history of the project area and its wider context in Skelton.
Activities 1 and 2 cover the surveying, excavation and interpretation of the mediaeval site at Boroughgate. This is a site of potentially national significance and the work has the full support of the site’s owners, the Skelton & Gilling Estate.
Activities 3, 4 and 5 are aimed at further enhancing the historical record. Activity 3 will provide an oral history; Activity 4 will provide a photographic record and Activity 5 will provide the research which will eventually feed into a publication recording all the project and activity work.
Activity 6 is a piece of history all of its own. The intent is to hold a medieval re-enactment event.
The final Activity, Number 8 is aimed at linking education, arts skills and history by means of a mosaic tail joining the project area of the High Street with other key historic buildings along the High Street.
It is a major objective of the proposals contained in the Activity Statement to aim to draw in and train a significant volunteer effort.