Two historic buildings in Northampton town centre will be improved thanks to a lottery grant of more than £1.6 million.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced the money will be given to a project to improve both St Peter’s Church and the neighbouring Old Black Lion pub in Marefair.
The money will be used to create new conference and meeting facilities in the area and convert the Black Lion into a pub-restaurant.
The scheme is one of five funding projects to be announced by the Heritage Lottery Fund today, along with plans to turn the building in Belfast where the Titanic was designed into a hotel and plans to transform the Globe Theatre in Stockton.
Dame Jenny Abramsky, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “In almost every town and city there is at least one historic building standing empty that at one time was at the heart of the local community.
“Whilst much-loved, these buildings present huge financial challenges.
“This new scheme works to unlock the potential of these precious old buildings, encouraging private investors and encouraging regeneration.
“The result is good for us all – substantial economic growth, much-needed new jobs and a wonderful part of our heritage saved from further neglect.”
The exact amount of money to be spent on the Northampton scheme is £1,666,300.
St Peter’s Church dates from the 12th century while The Old Black Lion pub is a 17th century building which is thought to be the oldest pub in Northampton.
The development plan is part of a scheme to create a ‘heritage gateway’ at the entrance to Northampton where the town’s new railway station is currently being built.