Lancaster High Street Heritage Action Zone: Damside Street
HPA was commissioned to deliver the feasibility of renovation and refitting of several shops on Damside Street as part of the Lancaster High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme.
Led by Historic England, HSHAZ is part of the government’s national programme of investment into high streets, with a focus on capital works, community engagement, and cultural programming.
Aimed at improving the condition and perception of the area, HSHAZ is a combined effort between Lancaster City Council, Historic England, and other partners. The changes to Damside Street are intended to have a positive impact on the character and appearance of the area and city centre overall.
Our work involved researching the restoration and repair of the traditional shopfront at Cunningham Jewellers – the oldest jewellers in Lancaster – as well as the restoration of 10 Damside Street and reinstatement of the historic warehouse openings at 14 Damside Street.
Characterised by its bustling, narrow medieval streets, and the variable topography, Lancaster embodies the commercial and cultural core of the city. The shop front and building styles reflect the incremental changes and continuous importance of this historic heart. Damside Street sits within HSHAZ and the Lancaster Conservation Area, adjacent to several Listed Buildings. Having previously worked on many Listed Buildings in the area, HPA has a wealth of experience working within historic settings and a thorough understanding of the importance that non-designated heritage assets play in defining local character.
HPA worked closely with the owners and HAZ team to design and specify repairs and intervention, ensuring the delivery of the scheme creates a strong enhancement to the non-designated heritage asset and the wider conservation area.
In alignment with historic research into properties and surrounding buildings to ensure the scale, massing, and materiality are informed by and complement the local vernacular, our work included producing the designs for Historic shop frontages and signage applications.
We have also prepared applications for Planning and Listed Building Consents and produced technical drawings for individual properties within the scheme.
Our in-house Heritage Assessor, Jess Barrow, carried out a Heritage assessment to ensure that the delivery of the scheme will uplift the architectural quality of the area.
Historic research is continuing as part of the wider scheme to ensure that the development strengthens references to the character of the area whilst remaining sympathetic to the historic environment.