Landing a share of £95 million could be the catalyst for turning around Maryport town centre’s fortunes, the town’s MP has said.

Maryport is one of 68 places across the country, including 14 in the North West, to have received a share of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone cash.

The Government-funded programme is being run by Historic England, which has just announced full details of the grants it will hand out nationally.

Maryport will receive £592,500 from the scheme, which has been added to cash from Allerdale Council, Sellafield and building owners to provide a £1.2 million pot.

It comes as the council waits to hear whether a multi-million-pound bid to the Government’s £1 billion Future High Streets Fund will be successful.

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson hopes the Historic England cash will be the first step in the successful transformation of Maryport’s high street after what he described as decades of decline.

He said: “Maryport’s a little gem of a town but I don’t think it would be unfair to say it hasn’t had a lot of love over recent years.

“As our lives became busier and we moved to out-of-town shopping we allowed out high streets to decline. Maryport’s has survived as have many others but as a shell of its former self. This will hopefully help to start the reversal of that decline.”

Mr Jenkinson, who was involved in drawing up the town’s regeneration plans in his previous role as a leading Allerdale councillor, said the focus for town centres had moved away from traditional retail to be more admin and leisure based.

Some of Maryport’s Heritage Action Zone money will be used to upgrade four key buildings - the town hall, the maritime museum building, Heron Foods and 68 Crosby Street - and make them more usable, attractive and welcoming.

The Crosby Street work will involve the conversion of the upper floors of Midland Bank Chambers into visitor accommodation.

The project will also see some shopfronts removed, allowing for replacements more in keeping with the street’s architecture.

There will be new and improved signage, seating and public art in Senhouse Street.

And the project will involve a cultural programme of festivals, competitions and town trails, the launch of a street art trail with a piece inspired by what is best and most loved about Maryport, and a calendar of events celebrating the town’s heritage.

The council’s deputy leader Mike Johnson said: “There is a lot of work to be done, but these are exciting times for the town and we’re fully committed to continuing the work of the Maryport regeneration team as it forms a key part of our council strategy to support thriving towns and villages.”