Work has now started on the first of a number of projects aimed at revitalising Gloucester’s Southgate Street.

Following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) number 57 Southgate Street is first in line for improvements, with the building undergoing essential repairs to its structure. The work will also include the restoration of architectural details and new accommodation on the upper floors.

A number of planned projects will follow as part of the Southgate Street Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) using the £897,400 HLF grant and a top-up of £300,000 Gloucester City Council funding.

This means those living and working in the area can benefit from almost £1.2million to be used on breathing new life into this key entrance to the city.

The THI project will last for five years and is designed to improve the condition of buildings and the Southgate Street area as a whole, which it is hoped could lead to greater investment in the area in future.

It offers support to local businesses, landlords and other organisations in Southgate Street in order to reinstate lost architectural details, repair external structures, improve quality and design and raise awareness of the areas historical significance.

Councillor Paul James, Gloucester City Council leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It is great to hear that work is beginning on the first of what we plan to be a number of projects to revitalise an important part of Gloucester city centre.

“It is an exciting project which will see a number of buildings improved and benefit everyone who lives and works in the area. I look forward to seeing the results of this scheme.”

Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “We’re really pleased that work has started on this much-needed and exciting project in the heart of Gloucester.

“Once completed, Southgate Street will be a better place to live and work for local people. THI projects make an important contribution to improving the local economy bringing in new investment and helping to provide job and training opportunities for residents.”

Alistair Pearcy, owner of 57 Southgate Street said: “The refurbishment is going to consist of major building repairs to bring the property back into tip top condition while at the same time restoring various traditional architectural features in line with its historic origins.

“The support of the Southgate Street Townscape Heritage Initiative has been vital.”