A regeneration project based in Looe looks to transform the historic sea front of the town.

The East Looe Town Trust’s Old Lifeboat Station and Watchtower (OLS) Heritage Led Regeneration Project has successfully bid for funding and will be granted £289,000 which will be used to transform the historic building.

The project looks to regenerate the semi-derelict listed building which has been used previously as part of a building materials store and seasonal art sales.

East Looe Town Trust have said that it will be investing around £100,000 of its own funds in the project and will be supported further by other funders.

The plans for the re-purposed building look to create two unique workplaces for Looe providing renewable energy and staff facilities.

The watchtower will become a low-carbon workplace for East Looe Town Trust staff — freeing up their present offices in the listed Guildhall.

East Looe Town Trust have reported that they will evaluate the re-purposing of the Guildhall offices to boost the economy of the historic town centre.

The Boatshed will become a flexible modern workspace offering opportunity for many types of new business from workshop, to commercial or retail.

It is said that both new workspaces will offer year-round employment — increasing the footfall, vitality and appearance of the seafront.

An online Looe lifeboats’ history and archive is going to be commissioned for the project which looks to bring together exhibits, which are held in the Looe Museum, with a wealth of documents data and photograph donated by Project Ryder – the charity that operated the restored Ryder Looe lifeboat.

The focus of the online display will be on the crews who gave service between 1866 and 1930, connecting with many of today’s Looe families.

A new ‘Devon & Cornwall’s Great Scenic Railways’ circular walk will lead seafront visitors through the Wooldown’s wartime and conservation sites, and the historic town.

East Looe Town Trust manager, Jane Day, said: “We thank everyone for the strong support we have received for the project. Once restored, the Old Lifeboat Station, and its information display will help recreate the sense of place around Looe’s iconic landmark. Our project is a perfect fit for the heritage led regeneration strand of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Fund and we are grateful for their investment in Looe. The project has got off to a great start.”

The project is being funded with the help of a £289,000 investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Culture and Heritage-led Regeneration and Skills programme, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, said: “It is heartening to see that this award from the Shared Prosperity Fund will be put to such innovative use and help secure and transform these buildings for the benefit of the community. It means that not only will local heritage be preserved, it will be given a new lease of life and play its part in regenerating our places and communities.”

Leading conservation architects, Le Page, have been appointed to deliver the construction work, and an invitation to tender for the online history will be issued soon.

An East Looe Town Trust spokesperson added: “We look forward to working with the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership on the heritage and conservation walk.

“The OLS heritage led regeneration project is grateful to have received essential financial support from The Carew Pole Family Trust, Project Ryder charity, Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, Cornwall Cllr Armand Toms community chest, Looe U3A.”

Cllr Armand Toms commented: “I am delighted that East Looe Town Trust have got this funding to help refurbish the Old Lifeboat Station and the Watch Town.

“These are iconic buildings in the town with such importance to the safety of mariners.

“We must ensure that our history is preserved for future generations.”