The planned transformation of a key heritage building into a thriving community hub in Sowerby Bridge town centre has taken a leap forward.
Building work has started on the former fire station, swimming pool and Council offices on Hollins Mill Lane, Sowerby Bridge, to give them a new lease of life and create a range of facilities for local people.
Calderdale Council and the Sowerby Bridge Fire & Water community group are working together to develop the hub. A share of Calderdale’s £2 million grant from the government’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme, delivered by Historic England, is going towards funding the work.
The national High Streets Heritage Action Zones programme is a £95 million government-funded initiative led by Historic England and designed to secure lasting improvements to historic high streets, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery and breathing new life into them for future generations.
Construction work for the Fire & Water building includes bringing the three main blocks along Hollins Mill Lane up to a standard where they can be used for as many community activities as possible.
Windows and floors will be replaced, repairs made, disabled toilets added to all three floors, a Changing Places facility and a new fire escape created, underfloor heating installed and powered by a climate-friendly air source heat pump, plus many other alterations and improvements. New steel beams are now in place and construction of the first toilets is well underway.
The Council is also working with Historic England and local communities on other HSHAZ schemes in Sowerby Bridge to revive disused buildings, restore local historic character, improve public areas and increase footfall during the day.
The HSHAZ-funded work complements the ongoing development of the Sowerby Bridge masterplan, which is being produced with the community-led Sowerby Bridge Town Development Board and aims to improve the transport network, create more green spaces, reduce the risk of flooding and encourage more walking and cycling to help tackle the climate emergency and boost people’s health and wellbeing.
Sowerby Bridge High Street Heritage Action Zone is a partnership between Historic England and Calderdale Council, together with Sowerby Bridge Fire & Water to revitalise our high street through heritage, culture and community. To find out the latest news visit www.sowerbybridgehshaz.org.uk and join us on social media.
Preserving the unique heritage features in Sowerby Bridge supports the Vision2024 for Calderdale to be distinctive and resilient.
In the year 2024, Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision