Heritage project has transformed Folkestone

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A five-year, £1.8million Heritage project has restored some of Folkestone’s most historic buildings to their former glory.

The Folkestone Townscape Heritage Initiative, a partnership between Kent County Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council and the Creative Foundation, is a Heritage project has seen the restoration and refurbishment of almost 20 properties and public spaces throughout the Old Town.

Heritage project Among them is the former Fellenberg College in Church Street, also the birthplace of physician William Harvey in 1578. The property had been split into two and renovated independently, leaving only part of the name visible.

But thanks to work as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative, the sign has been restored and the shopfront refurbished to match the more traditional frontage of the rest of the building.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council provided £100,000 towards the project.

“The work of Folkestone THI is apparent as you walk around the Old Town and I have been hugely impressed with the scheme. When it launched five years ago many of the buildings were in a very sad state and it did not reflect well on our town. But now, thanks to the expertise of the specialist teams working on the projects, we can take pride in our heritage and our environment.

Cllr David Monk, Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council

A total of £1.3million was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, while Kent County Council contributed £400,000.

Contractors Redec Refurbishment carried out the work to the building in Church Street, as well as to other buildings around the town.

Martello Building Consultancy acted as architects for several of the projects, including the former Centre for Peace in the Old High Street. It had been derelict since a fire in 2012 and had to have a new steel frame installed to make the property safe before restoration work could start.

The scheme aimed to reinstate architectural features and bring buildings back into use, while also enhancing paths by restoring traditional cobblestones, steps – including the Parade, Bayle and Tontine steps – and public space.

Students were also able to learn and develop heritage skills thanks to training and work experience opportunities with East Kent College.

For more information on the scheme visit http://www.folkestonethi.org/


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