SHOP fronts in two of Coventry’s most historic streets have undergone a ‘Cinderella’-style transformation as part of a £2 million restoration project.
And in true panto form the newly-restored 16 buildings and independent shops in Hales Street and the Burges have been unveiled just in time for Christmas.
Historic Coventry Trust (HCT) has repaired the buildings, restored lost historic features such as sash windows, and fitted new traditional shopfronts.
Carol Pyrah, executive director of HCT said: “Hales Street and the Burges are packed with great, independent local businesses and it’s an ideal place to go for your post-lockdown Christmas shopping, for taking a break in one of the restaurants, or sprucing yourself up for Christmas in one of the barber shops or clothes stores.
“The transformation really has been astounding – we started off with one of Coventry’s ugly sisters, but in true panto style there was a Cinderella waiting to be revealed.
“The restoration of the buildings has brought out their beauty and allows the businesses to shine. It’s time to #RediscoverYourCoventry – this historic high street is certainly alive and well and ready to go to the ball this Christmas.
“The buildings really deserve their locally listed status and we’re incredibly grateful to our funders –the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport, Historic England, and our core partners Coventry City Council and the Coventry BID for helping us make this transformation a reality. It has been a privilege to work with the businesses who have shown amazing creativity and adaptability during this difficult year.”
One of the few surviving traditional ‘high street’ areas in Coventry, the Burges is one of the city’s earliest medieval streets with the buildings on the eastern side retaining much of the medieval fabric behind 18th-century frontages.
The locally listed buildings in both streets have been expertly restored over the last nine months by local construction firms to designs drawn up by conservation architects Corstorphine + Wright.
Historic Coventry Trust (HCT) was awarded a grant for the project by the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) from its £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, led by Historic England with support from Coventry City Council and match-funding from the owners.