HE updates on HAZ: ‘Successful Heritage Regeneration… Revived Historic Towns’

Historic England (HE) has shared successes from the 10 Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) projects, funded since 2016/17, which helped breathe new life into historic places in needing an investment boost.

… a powerful catalyst for regeneration…

HE writes:

From Weston-super-Mare to Sunderland, 10 Historic England-funded Heritage Action Zones have been a powerful catalyst for regeneration.

Since 2016/17, Historic England has put £6 million into funding 10 Heritage Action Zone projects around the country, breathing new life into historic places that are rich in heritage but need a boost to make them more attractive to residents, businesses, visitors and investors.

This funding has acted as a powerful catalyst for regeneration in these areas, successfully leveraging a further £60 million in investment and has demonstrated that heritage can be a powerful force for levelling up.

The 10 completed Heritage Action Zones are in:

The scheme has regenerated 77 historic buildings, helped to remove 13 buildings from the Heritage at Risk Register and brought back into use more than 8,400 square metres (equivalent to 13 large supermarkets) of commercial floor space, boosting local economies. In Sunderland, two sets of Grade II listed buildings in High Street West have been repaired with new independent shops opening, as well as the creation of a music and culture venue knowns as Pop Recs.

The scheme has also led to new housing opportunities. In Nottingham’s Lace Market, the restoration of the Birkin Building has been converted to prime office space for creative industries. Supporting economic growth is one of the key aims of the scheme.

540 community engagement volunteers have been trained, connecting them with their local heritage and helping to increase a sense of local pride and identity. In total, more than 100 community projects have benefitted from the scheme.

The first Heritage Action Zones, which complete this year, have given 10 places a new lease of life. Working with local councils and community partners has been crucial to their success.

Historic buildings that were deteriorating through decades of neglect have been restored and put back into use, providing employment and volunteering opportunities; conservation areas have been improved, kick-starting regeneration and renewal that has helped attract significant investment and meet local housing targets. These unsung places are now being recognised and celebrated for their unique character and heritage…

There are a further 10 Heritage Actions Zones that are currently helping to revive the fortunes of local places as well as the £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zones, where Historic England is working with local authorities to regenerate more than 60 high streets through the restoration of historic buildings, a cultural programme and community engagement.

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