Shop front facelift will restore Victorian character

Monday, 8th April, 2013
LEICESTER’S Grade-II listed YMCA building on Granby Street is being given a £64,000 facelift as part of a city council scheme to revamp key city shopping areas.

The project will spruce up the fronts of the seven purpose-built shops housed in the 1901 late-Victorian Baroque style building, and reveal the features and character of its Granby Street facade.

The building’s original green-glazed tiled columns and doorways will be restored, and the arched and leaded windows, which run the length of the building, will be uncovered and renovated.

Each of the seven shops will also get new hand-painted signs as part of the improvement scheme.

It is the latest work to be carried out under the city council's shop front grant scheme. This allows shop owners on six key routes into the city and city centre to apply for a share of £680,000 to improve the appearance of their businesses.

This latest project is being carried out in partnership between Leicester City Council and The Y, with both contributing £32,000 towards the costs.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: "I am delighted that The Y are so committed to this project, which is a fantastic example of what we are hoping to achieve through our shop front improvement grants.

"By working in partnership with The Y, we will be able to help ensure that all seven businesses will benefit from revamping this landmark building.

"This improvements help ensure that the shops are looking their best, helping to attract customers and investors and ensuring that this important gateway into the city centre is attractive to visitors."

Paul Brown, The Y’s chief executive, said: "Work started this week on improving our shop fronts and we are really proud to be part of creating a much nicer approach to the city from the railway station. The work complements the internal refurbishment carried out in the last three years which has rejuvenated our iconic building. We would like to thank the City Council for the grant and their on-going commitment to improve the city gateway and the built environment of the city."

The shop front grant scheme was designed to boost independent shopping areas on the city’s key gateways, or those linked to existing regeneration projects.

It is currently open to businesses in Narborough Road and Braunstone Gate, Granby Street, The Golden Mile, Church Gate, Humberstone Gate East and Belgrave Gate.

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