Blackburn High Street & King George Hall

A Townscape Heritage Project - revitalising Northgate High Street to restore the local historic character and significantly improve the public realm.

Group Ginger are the lead consultant, working with Blackburn & Darwen Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage fund to deliver Blakey Moor terrace. External improvements to the grade II listed King George’s Hall will also be delivered alongside multiple small heritage restoration projects for private properties eligible for grant funding.

The Townscape Heritage Project aims to carry out repair and restoration works to fifteen private properties identified within the Townscape Heritage Project Boundary. To help bring these projects forward, BWDBC and Group Ginger have developed a high street design guide to establish and disseminate fundamental principles for their improvement before liaising with private owners to create custom schemes for individual properties.

The project’s key aims are to restore and reintroduce the historic Highstreet in Northgate to help reinvigorate the town’s cultural, leisure and evening economy around King Georges Hall.

Group Ginger are the intellectual and strategic lead in all design matters related to the restoration, alteration, and adaptation of the Northgate townscape Heritage project. Responsible for the project’s overall design philosophy, Group Ginger is also responsible for compliance of the Design Team along with all relevant design and funding guidance.

A coordinated approach to heritage restoration and shop front design across Northgate Street will enhance the Conservation Area and contribute significantly to the vitality of the street and the prosperity of individual businesses. Borough Council and private individuals own the series of buildings. They wish to improve the buildings by reinstating the historic features lost and covered by layers of adaptation and modifications. The design guidance encourages greater care to be taken in shop front design while promoting high-quality design standards within Northgate to nurture productive environments in which retailers can establish and develop successful businesses. The intention is to establish an approach to shop fronts that balance retailer requirements alongside heritage and conservation awareness to collectively improve property stock and area enhancement. The guidance, however, is not prescriptive and offers advice on the various aspects of shop front design that planning authorities will consider when determining planning applications.