High Street 2012 unveils historic building facelift

SIX historic buildings lining the road that links the City of London to the Olympic Park in Stratford have been restored.

The High Street 2012 project was unveiled on Thursday following restoration works that have returned them to their former glory.

Part of Tower Hamlets council’s High Street 2012 programme, the buildings are the first of around 100 to benefit from the conservation works.

Nick Smales, Head of 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at Tower Hamlets council said: “High Street 2012 aims to regenerate of some of the most deprived areas in Tower Hamlets against the backdrop of London 2012. This will help lift up the area, with the benefits lasting for years to come.”

The six rejuvenated buildings, at 64-68 Whitechapel High Street, have seen new shop fronts, repairs to the brickwork and pointing, new windows and the reinstatement of lost architectural features and details. Taking six months to complete, the conservation works cost approximately �460,000.

Andrew Hargreaves from English Heritage, said: “The completion of the repair and restoration works to the exterior of this group of late 19th century Conservation Area buildings marks an exciting stage in the High Street 2012 initiative and an invaluable investment in local heritage.

“The investment works to these buildings, for which we have provided funding under our Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas, includes extensive reinstatement of decorative features removed since World War II, and offers a tangible sign of the 2012 legacy in this key east London corridor.”

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The Historic Buildings Conservation Scheme forms part of a larger package of measures in the High Street 2012 programme.

The project will see improvements to the public realm, which aim to revitalise and rejuvenate the area.

Peter Bishop at the London Development Agency said: “High Street 2012 is producing great changes to this part of east London and the restoration work to these historic buildings shows the kind of improvements we want to achieve.

“By the summer of 2012, there will be a wonderful, vibrant avenue running from the City to Stratford and the Olympic Park.”

With the first block of buildings now complete, the council is beginning the next phase of this scheme. This month conservation works will start on buildings on Mile End Terrace in the Stepney Green Conservation Area.

In addition to the Historic Building Conservation Scheme, Tower Hamlets Council has secured funding for improvements to Altab Ali Park, Mile End Park, Whitechapel Market and the Mile End Waste.