Deadline looms for Bo’ness conservation grants

190111 the hippodrome cinema boness
190111 the hippodrome cinema boness

TIME is running out for grant applications for conservation works in homes and businesses in Bo’ness town centre.

The main Townscape Heritage Initiative finishes by the end of March, but in the meantime minor works like painting or gutter cleaning costing under £5000 may still be considered.

The Bo’ness THI has benefitted from £1.3m of Heritage Lottery Fund cash since 2005, helping to restore derelict and underused properties, improve shop fronts and the streetscape, provide building repair grants, and renovate key buildings to meet modern community needs.

Property owners and occupiers in Bo’ness town centre will, by the end of March, be getting a copy of the newly-approved conservation area management plan, which had to be produced as a result of the lottery grant.

Also aimed at developers, council services, and utility companies, it offers detailed information and guidance on procedures to follow when considering development proposals or property alterations.

It outlines situations where planning permission is needed and also certain unauthorised works to be avoided.

Its purpose is to help safeguard the architectural heritage of Bo’ness.

The plan was approved by Falkirk Council’s policy and resources committee last week and it sets out expected design standards.

It encourages an on- going commitment to good quality design in future development and highlights the benefits and responsibilities of operating in a conservation area.

Bo’ness councillor Adrian Mahoney, also Falkirk’s leisure, tourism and community convener, said: “Bo’ness Town Centre is an outstanding conservation area.

‘‘It’s important that building owners and tenants look after buildings within the area, and ask for advice before making changes or improvements to those buildings.

“Advice is freely available from the council’s development services team at no charge.”

Councillor Mahoney added: “The vast improvements that have been made in the town centre over recent years are thanks to businesses working with the council to make suitable renovations and improvements.

“Whilst the main THI project is coming to an end, the challenge now is to ensure that all this good work and progress isn’t lost and that we have a fantastic heritage town centre to be proud of for many years to come.”

For queries about grant applications, contact THI officer George Paterson on 01324 501022.