Update on New Life for City Buildings project

Update on New Life for City Buildings project

The New Life for City Buildings project, which aims to help revitalise the city by using funding from the Truro Town Deal programme to refurbish, renovate and repurpose buildings in the city centre and unoccupied upper floors, received 30 initial inquiries from owners and landowners after its formal launch in January 2024.

Since then the Truro Regeneration Company, the structure set up to manage the project on behalf of Truro City Council, has received 11 expressions of interest submissions. These are spread out across the centre of Truro in properties on River Street, Pydar Street, New Bridge Street, Victoria Square, St Marys Street and High Cross, with the majority looking to convert empty floors above retail shops into high quality living space.

The New Life for City Buildings project is one of seven projects which have been approved to receive Town Deal Funding in Truro.  The project will receive £3.3 million from the UK Governments Town Deal programme to support its work during the next two years.

Wholly owned by the City Council, Truro Regeneration Company is responsible for assessing applications and distributing grants to owners and landlords, and where appropriate, buying and regenerating unused buildings so they can be repurposed rather than lying empty.  Landlords and owners of properties will be expected to contribute at least 50% of the cost of the works and will be responsible for overseeing the construction. 

Five of the applicants have been invited to make a full application for grant funding, with a further four expressions of interest due to come forward for consideration at the next meeting of the Truro Regeneration Company (Regenco) Board.

“We were delighted with the positive response to the launch of the project and are looking forward to the first grants being awarded in the coming weeks“ said Rupert Hume-Kendall, Chair of the Truro Regeneration Company CIC (TRC).

“However we are keen to encourage other owners and landlords with empty spaces above shops or empty or dilapidated commercial buildings on the outskirts of the city to come forward”.

There are around 1,600 private sector businesses in Truro, many within the retail and professional services sector. The city centre currently has an estimated 25,000 m2 of empty or redundant space. As well as making more creative use of this space and protecting community assets, the project will also improve energy efficiency and future proof buildings and provide sustainable employment and apprenticeship opportunities within the construction industry. 

Property owners / operators and landlords interested in sending their Expression of Interest can request an application form by emailing: regenco@truro.gov.uk

All applications are considered by the Truro Regeneration Company board against the criteria set out in the funding agreement between Truro City Council and the Truro Towns Fund.  Details of the criteria will be included in the application form. A copy of the criteria is also available by emailing  regenco@truro.gov.uk

Although Truro is rightly renowned for its historic buildings and grand Georgian and Victorian architecture, we recognise that many of the buildings have upper floors which are empty and unused “ said Truro Mayor Cllr Carol Swain. “We want to protect and celebrate our heritage and cultural assets and encourage more people to live and work in the city centre by transforming these empty and dilapidated buildings

“This project provides a fantastic opportunity to create a thriving city centre by bringing new life to our historic buildings and encouraging more people into our Great Little City and I would encourage owners and landlords to come forward with their ideas”.

About the UK Government Town Deals programme

Part of the government’s plan for Levelling Up the UK economy and the wider Towns Fund, the Town Deals programme aims to regenerate towns and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. This is through investments in urban regeneration, digital and physical connectivity, skills, heritage and enterprise infrastructure. As of July 2021, DLUHC have offered Town Deals to all 101 places that submitted proposals, committing over £2.35bn of investment across c.700 projects nationwide. See the press releases associated with Town Deals on gov.uk.

About Truro Town Deal

In June 2021 Truro was awarded £23.6m of the Government’s Town Deals funding. The city will see a number of developments to improve the city and its economy, including plans for a Truro community hub, green transport links, The Hive at Pydar, new life for buildings in the city centre and a Boscawen Park sports and recreation hub.

For more information about Truro Town Deal visit www.trurotownfund.com

Cornwall is the only area invited by the Government to submit proposals for four of its towns: Camborne, Penzance, St Ives and Truro. After conducting extensive public consultations, each Town Deal Board submitted their Town Investment Plan in collaboration with Cornwall Council. As a result, the Government announced in spring 2021, that Cornwall will receive up to £88.7 million from the Town Deals programme.

Cornwall Council is the Lead Authority for the Town Deals in Cornwall. Cornwall Council supports the governance role of Truro Town Deal Board and isresponsible for administering the Fund on behalf of the Board. For more information visit: www.cornwall.gov.uk/business-trading-and-licences/economic-development/towns-fund

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