Transforming empty homes

Published on: Friday, 27-March-2015

The first building as part of a joint initiative between the Living Above the Shop Scheme and the Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative has now been completed.  The scheme was introduced to encourage people to live in properties over shops, which was previously unused space.

The unused upper floors at 40 High Street, Prescot have been transformed thanks to £16.8 million of Government funding awarded to the Liverpool City Region as part of the Restore Consortium.  The funding will be used to restore over 700 empty homes across the City Region, 18 of which are within Prescot town centre. 

Extensive external work has also been carried out on the property, supported by funding from the £3.2 million Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £1.85 million to the THI, with additional funding provided by Knowsley Council and the Empty Homes Fund.  The work has made dramatic changes to the exterior of the building, which has seen decades of paint stripped away to reveal beautiful brickwork and stonework. In addition the twentieth century shop front has been replaced with a more traditional all-timber shop front which complements the building’s architecture.  The building is the first of 30 to be repaired, restored and brought back into use via the THI between now and 2018.

The two bed property at 40 High Street is now fully accredited under Knowsley’s Landlord Accreditation Scheme and available to rent at affordable rent for a period of five years.  Properties available through the scheme are available on http://www.propertypoolplus.org.uk/ 

Further information about the Restore Consortium can be found at http://www.restoreagency.com/

John Flaherty, Knowsley Council’s Executive Director (Place), said “The funding we have attracted, both through the THI and Restore Consortium, has completely transformed both the exterior and interior of the building and has enabled us to convert a derelict space into a modern living space.”