New lease of life for historic Duke Street building

A GRADE II-listed building in one of Barrow’s grandest streets is to benefit from essential repair works thanks to grant funding.

Work to restore the roof of 107-109 Duke Street is underway to ensure the historic property is watertight and protected for the future.

The building started out as two shops and was then converted into a bank in the early 1900’s. It went on to become The Old Bank Pub and has most recently been home to a takeaway business.

The work is being undertaken as part of Barrow’s High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme; Re: Discover Barrow, which aims to deliver a meaningful, high impact programme in and around Duke Street to restore the historical town centre. 

The scheme secured funding of £1.1 million from Historic England which together with match funding gives an overall programme total of £1.9 million.

Councillor Helen Wall, Barrow Borough Council’s lead member for heritage and wildlife, welcomed news that restoration work was underway at the property thanks to the Heritage Action Zone grant funding scheme.

“Duke Street is located within the Central Barrow Conservation Area which was recorded by Historic England as a Conservation Area at risk in 2018,” she said.

“It’s such an exciting time for businesses on Duke Street as we look to reinstate some of the grandeur this beautiful street displayed in its heyday. 

“Not only will the grant funding help to restore and protect historic buildings for the future, it will also increase the likelihood of properties being brought back into further use.”

The Barrow HSHAZ boundary runs from Barrow Library to the Town Hall and also encompasses part of Abbey Road and Cornwallis Street. Funding will breathe new life into the town centre and will also preserve the Central Conservation Area.

Business owners or tenants will be able to apply for grants to reinstate lost architectural features, for building repairs and bringing vacant floor space back into use.

A second phase of works to repair windows, render and remove unsympathetic paintwork carried out by previous owners at 107-109 Duke Street is currently in the design stages, its current owner, businessman Horizont Pllana, confirmed.

“We are delighted to be starting work on the roof at 107-109 Duke Street with grant support from Historic England,” he added.

“Being able to get the building watertight is an essential next step in securing the future of this beautiful property. It will also enable us to look towards bringing the upper floors into further use with plans for a restaurant as well as two residential flats.”

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