18 Jul

New Look for Whitehaven Shop Fronts

How the Townscape Heritage Initiative has improved the look of shop fronts on Market Place, Whitehaven

Whitehaven Lowther Street image by Graham Robson, 2012.

Lowther Street: one of Whitehaven’s main shopping streets. Image by Graham Robson, 2012 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

Whitehaven, only a short distance from our base, is referred to by many as “the most complete example of planned Georgian architecture in Europe”. It is the closest English port and principal town centre to the Isle of Man. At one time, it was a regular port for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, though annual excursions link our town with its capital city, Douglas.

The Lowther family gave us the town we know today. With its Georgian architecture a unique selling point, this led to the formation of the Townscape Heritage Initiative. The old town is Whitehaven’s best preserved part of the centre and its commercial heart. Lately, shop fronts on Market Place, James Street, and the Whitehaven Foyer have been given a new look.

This has seen the former Little Hong Kong takeaway being split into two units and the addition of a new frontage. The New Hong Kong, its forerunner has one of the newly formed unit. With a good mix of independent shops and chain stores, the Townscape Heritage Initiative aims to help the former, and encourage the arrival of new businesses. Particularly small businesses and budding entrepreneurs.

There is more to Whitehaven’s regeneration plan than the addition of new shop fronts, as cited on the Cumbria Crack blog. It is part of a five-year plan to make our town a pleasant place to work, live, and shop. The package also includes a skills training programme and community events.

As builders in Whitehaven, we think it’s a fine place with a great history. Though it has lost the heavy industry it was famed for such as coal (Haig Colliery closed in 1986) and detergent processing (the Marchon works), it is worth a look. The shop fronts are a neat improvement on their previous look.

D and A Plumbing and Electrical Contractors, 18 July 2017.

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