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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ironwork restoration

Thank you for your email regarding ironwork restoration which has been passed to me for reply.

Westminster City Council is already running a project with English Heritage linked to their "Campaign for London Squares" and using money from the Social and Community Fund from the Paddington Regeneration (ie. money from the developers). £250,000 has been allocated towards improving railings and boundary treatment to squares in the Paddington area. The first project approved is for Cleveland Square with one third funding from each of English Heritage, the City Council and the residents. Work is also ongoing looking at Talbot Square and Sussex Gardens.

The Heritage Lottery Fund's Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) would not be applicable to garden squares which would fall under their Public Parks Initiative. However, you are quite right to say that railings and boundary treatment improvements in the Queens Park Area would fall within the remit of the THI. However, a successful application would require at least 25% of
the funding to come from other sources and there would be a considerable staff input from the City Council to run such a project. At present, there is no likelihood of the staff or finance being available from the City Council to pursue such an initiative. That is not to say, however, that residents could not submit such a proposal for Heritage Lottery Funding, but they would need to address the same issues of resources and funding.

I hope this reply is not too disappointing, but you can see that the City Council is already pursuing a project in the Paddington area which is achieving real improvement to ironwork and boundary treatment. The important difference though is that this work is being funded by developer's money rather than by the City Council who have limited finances and many competing demands.

David Clegg
Head of Design and Conservation (North)

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