Rediscover Stockton

The Council’s ‘Grants for Heritage Buildings’ programme has awarded £3 million grant funding since 2008 to projects improving the condition, use, specialist knowledge and understanding of historic buildings and spaces within Stockton Town Centre.

Working in partnership with property owners and other partners, the project – funded by the Council, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), One North East and English Heritage –  is helping to sustain the town’s precious historic built environment.  It is also equipping the local community – businesses, property owners, residents, contractors and others – with the knowledge and skills essential to sustain the wider historic built environment for social and economic benefit.

The current Grants for Heritage Buildings programme is the Central Stockton Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).  Funded by the Council and HLF, grant is available to repair heritage buildings and bring empty space back into a variety of uses such as retail, commerce or residential accommodation.  It also funds public realm improvements and various training, community and creative heritage projects.

Together with the achievements of the former grant programme (funded by the Council and English Heritage), grantees are:

  • Safeguarding twelve historic buildings, bringing previously vacant space into productive use
  • Improving the public realm
  • Delivering over 100 training placements in traditional heritage construction skills
  • Producing nineteen accredited heritage skills qualifications
  • Engaging over 500 people in community heritage projects, productions and interpretation
  • Delivering open heritage events in Stockton Town Centre, with hundreds of people celebrating Stockton’s historic built environment and wider heritage.

Enhancing and making full use of Stockton’s heritage is a key theme in the town’s transformation.  Projects funded by the THI are detailed below. You can also take a look at some of the changes that have been made to the Buidlings by clicking the this attachment – THI Before and Afters_Feb16.

39A High Street

Construction works to bring the Grade II listed premises at 39A High Street back into use are programmed to commence in summer 2016.  The project will bring vacant space back into use as part of an expanded arts and music venue linked to the neighbouring Georgian Theatre, meeting market demand and building needs.  The project will also complete structural repairs and essential conversions to the property.

39A High Street

35-37 High Street

Conversion and development of vacant premises which reopened as the town’s ‘Enterprise Arcade’ for small and start-up retailers. Grant funded works included the design and installation of a stylish new shopfront and improved layout of the ground floor retail space, all in keeping with the building’s rich heritage. Works also included essential replacement of obsolete mechanical and electrical installations.

Since the late 1800s, the existing premises had spent most of its life as a drapers and department store, with a brief spell as a house furnishers, health and beauty store, and even for a short time, as a Job Centre.  Latterly the property’s ground floor was operated by a charity bookshop before this space also fell empty.

37 High Street

17 Dovecot Street

Renovation of the vacant first floor space to form a self-contained residential flat, with rationalisation of the vacant ground floor shop to make better use of floor space. Grant funded works included conservation led repairs to the roof and façade, replacement of windows with traditional sash timber units and the installation of a traditional shop front in keeping with Stockton Town Centre Conservation Area.

Both units were let on completion of the grant funded works.  The ground floor immediately became home to a new floristry business, ‘Open All  Flowers’; a new retail use being added to the list of traders who have operated from the old ‘T.H Bradley’ Butcher’s shop.

17 Dovecot Street

134 High Street

Conversion of the 19th century former Town House to form a modern, open-plan unit suitable for a variety of high street uses. Grant funded works included the repair and renewal of traditional sash timber windows, re-roofing and replacement of rainwater goods in traditional materials, essential re-pointing of brickwork, replacement of defective render, and the installation of a traditional style shop-front.  The premises, vacant for many years before grant works completed, is now leased and operated by a national high street retailer.

134 High Street

42 High Street

Structural repair and renovation of the premise’s vacant basement, upper floors and derelict rear warehouse.  The grant funded project has created five new residential units in Stockton Town Centre and relocated the office and staff accommodation of the pre-existing retailer to the basement, releasing upper floors for living accommodation as well as saving staff a chilly trip up the external staircase to the rest facilities! The project has brought a welcome use to this 19th century former wine merchants.

42 High Street

The Georgian Theatre

Completion of external stone and brickwork repairs to improve the stability and appearance of this former tithe barn.  Grant funded works included repair of original stonework believed to have been reclaimed from Stockton’s former Castle.

Georgian Theatre Stonework

Dovecot Street public realm improvements

Replacement of inappropriate modern-style paving slabs on Dovecot Street with traditional, durable materials in keeping with the character and amenity of the Conservation Area.

Dovecot Street Public Realms

Grants For Heritage Building Specialist Events

Stories From the High Street

‘Stories from the High Street’ launched on 24 February 2016 with free drop-in weekly workshops at Stockton Central Library, leading to a local history celebration event on 11 May.

The group uncovered the buildings’ secrets up to the modern day – who may have lived, worked, shopped, visited, was born or died there? Participants were given the opportunity to learn and develop research skills to discover more about the town, its buildings and stories.

The celebration event was a huge success and brought a host of costumed interpreters and exhibits to Stockton Library. Take a look at the images below…

Stories From The High Street Celebration


Stockton Heritage Fayre 

Saturday 22 October 2016 will be a day to celebrate Stockton’s heritage and showcase the grant programme’s successes.  Final plans for the fayre are being put together, at which we hope to showcase:

  • THI project successes
  • Heritage construction skills and surgery sessions
  • Specialist heritage traders and their wares
  • Stockton’s rich history via interactive interpretation and performances

Save the date in your diary now and watch this space for further details!

Specialist Training in Heritage Construction Skills

Local college students and professionals from construction, heritage and associated sectors secured accredited qualifications in heritage construction skills.  In addition, professionals and non-professionals attended a series of local practical training days and lectures in traditional construction skills.

Nationally there is a shortage of people suitably qualified in this sector, with the inappropriate use of modern material and techniques too often damaging the finite historic built environment.  Locally qualified individuals are therefore helping to reduce the existing skills gap and safeguard the future our heritage.

The existing grant programme is now closed to new applicants although current and reserve grantees have until 31 March 2017 to complete projects.