CULTURE Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced the locations that will benefit from a £95 million heritage boost for high streets in 69 towns across the country - and Redruth is one of them.

As part of the Government’s drive to help high streets adapt to changing consumer habits, the £95 million funding will "provide a welcome boost that will breathe new life into historic buildings and areas in our towns and cities".

Rebecca Barrett, regional director at Historic England South West, said: “It’s fantastic news for the local people, residents and businesses in Redruth that it will receive much needed funding to help support and revitalise its historic High Street. Historic England is looking forward to working with the local communities and stakeholders on this exciting project.”

The initiative will be funded by combining £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund with £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund.

A further £3 million will be provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a cultural programme to engage people in the life and history of their high streets.

Cornwall councillor Rob Nolan, portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “Cornwall Council is delighted to hear that our Redruth High Street Heritage Action Zone expression of interest application has been successful and that we will now have the opportunity to work with Historic England and Redruth to develop the community’s heritage-led proposals for the revival of their town centre.

"Redruth has a rich heritage, for example Murdoch House in the town centre was the first building in the world to be lit by gas lighting and was the hub of engineering breakthroughs.

"However historic buildings are deteriorating, with many of the intended uses no longer required, and spend in the town centre is declining in common to the high street challenges that many towns are facing. Redruth is also at a point of transition; it has many of the pieces now in place to reinvigorate the town centre and this potential investment offers critical pump-priming opportunities to assist the economy of Redruth.

"Last Saturday saw Kresen Kernow open its doors to thousands of visitors and building on the transformation of the old Redruth Brewery, this project will be bringing other derelict and underused historic buildings in the town centre back into economic use as commercial, residential, creative studios and innovation workspaces.”

The investment builds on the successful Heritage Action Zones programme, run by Historic England, and will turn empty and underused buildings into creative spaces, offices, retail outlets and housing to support wider regeneration in the 69 successful areas by attracting future commercial investment.

Mrs Morgan added: “Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.

“It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world.

“This £95 million will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit.”

The funding will be used for a variety of projects, including:

● To complete essential repair works in historic buildings and reveal hidden and forgotten features of buildings by restoring shop-fronts and façades.

● Stimulate commercial investment in high streets by demonstrating how historic sites can be successfully repurposed.

● Develop education projects and bespoke events to help reposition historic buildings as community hubs at the heart of local towns and villages.

● Help address the UK wide skills shortage of heritage professionals in expert fields like stonemasonry and conservation by providing local property owners, residents and businesses with the opportunity to train in these areas.

Communities Secretary of State Robert Jenrick said: “I want to make sure the nation’s high streets continue to be at the heart of local communities.

“Today’s funding, part of the £3.6 billion we have committed to helping towns across the country, will revitalise much-loved historic buildings, helping to reverse the decline of our town centres.

“Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in our biggest cities, is a priority of this Government in our mission to ‘level up’ the regions.”