AN EXPERT has been appointed to guide a £870,000 investment in the historic fabric of Northwich town centre.

Jenny Tunney is the new townscape heritage officer in charge of a scheme to repair and refurbish some of the town’s most historic buildings.

The project will also fund improvements to the historic streetscape as well as heritage skills training for property owners and contractors.

The scheme and Jenny’s appointment follows the announcement that Northwich is earmarked for a £870,000 Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) grant after a successful bid by the Weaver Valley Partnership and Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC).

A qualified planner and heritage professional, Jenny will work closely with businesses, property owners, the newly-formed Northwich BID and the wider community to develop the detailed plan necessary to secure the grant.

She said: “Northwich’s historic timber framed buildings are what give the town centre its distinctive character and identity.

“This project will help to boost the offer of the traditional town centre shopping area by offering grant assistance towards the repair and restoration of historic buildings, including re-instating traditional shop fronts.

“These improvements will make a positive contribution towards the character of the area and its re-invigoration by underpinning important local heritage, and be a welcome boost to the local economy.”

Jenny has spent eight years working as a conservation officer in a number of local authorities.

Her background has involved dealing with heritage applications and projects and she has extensive experience of working with different styles of buildings, including timber framed properties.

Clr Stuart Parker, CWAC’s executive member for culture and economy, said: “Jenny has a strong background in heritage and conservation and I look forward to watching this exciting scheme develop under her leadership.”