Bacup is known as one the best preserved Mill Towns in England but over the years and through lack of investment and social difficulties was, as the Council expressed “in a state of spiraling decline”. With this in mind in 2012 the Council applied for a Townscape Heritage Initiative Grant which would be funded by Heritage Lottery Funding.
In 2013 the Council discovered they were successful and a Grant was awarded of £1.9 million for the renovation of the Town Centre. The project would involve the refurbishment of key / landmark buildings including the Pioneer Building, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank (Grade II listed) and the REAL Building (a 1930’s art deco building) and the entire street No 3 – 33 St James Street. The buildings would be refurbished with a view to restoring historic detail and working in close junction with the Council’s Conservation Officer. At September 2016 the first Phase is complete, the restoration of the 1914 Edwardian Arcade (the Pioneer Building) and No 33 St James Street. Phase 2 is due to commence on site in February 2017.