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Completion of Shop Front Restoration on High Street South


Rachel Connor


May 8, 2024


After more than five years of planning and persistent negotiation, Dunstable Town Council proudly announces the completion of the shop front restoration project at the privately owned 21-23 High Street South (former Moore’s).

In 2019, Dunstable Town Council embarked on a journey to revitalise High Street South, recognising the importance of preserving the historic buildings in the area. With an understanding of local sentiment, the Council applied for High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) funding, with the aspiration that this could bring some disused privately owned properties back into use. The Town Council submitted a grant application in July 2019 for HSHAZ  funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Securing funding through the HSHAZ initiative was a significant achievement, with Dunstable Town Council being one of only two successful town councils to be awarded it. However, the journey to restore derelict buildings on High Street South was not without its challenges. The Town Council were notified that they had been successful in September 2019 and the HSHAZ should have started in April 2020 but was delayed until August 2020 due to Covid-19. Since that time the HSHAZ has been working closely with private landlords and tenants, the Council encountered obstacles along the way, yet their dedication and determination propelled the project forward.

While the project may not have fulfilled all our initial aspirations, Dunstable Town Council are immensely proud of what has been achieved during the HSHAZ. Through collaboration and perseverance, we have successfully worked with partners to restore some of 21-23 High Street South, with the restoration of the historic shop fronts, the repair and reinstatement of the first-floor windows and the repair of the historic roof.

The design and management of the restoration works were led by Conception Architects, renowned for their expertise in heritage conservation. DJ Russell Builders Ltd executed the construction with precision, while Dunstable Laminates contributed their joinery craftsmanship to the project.

Cllr Liz Jones, Town Mayor of Dunstable Town Council said: “We are thrilled to witness the culmination of our efforts with the restoration of the shop front at the former Moore’s building. This project symbolises our unwavering commitment to preserving our town’s rich heritage and revitalising our historic high street.”

The completion of the shop front restoration marks a significant milestone. Dunstable Town Council extends its gratitude to Historic England for their invaluable support throughout this project.

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