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More Heritage Action Zones Starting in 2018

Eight more places have been chosen as Heritage Action Zones to begin in Spring/Summer 2018.

Activity in each Heritage Action Zone is based on local need, and ranges from bringing back into use neglected listed buildings as housing, retail or community spaces; improving conservation areas to kick start regeneration; and developing historic sites as visitor attractions.

Photo shows a curving road withthree and four-storey georgian buildings.
Buildings and conservation areas in Dewsbury will be at the heart of regeneration. © Historic England

What is a Heritage Action Zone?

Through our Heritage Action Zone initiative, we are working to unleash the power in England's historic environment to create economic growth and improve quality of life in villages, towns and cities.

Working with local people and partners, including local authorities, Historic England is helping to breathe new life into old places that are rich in heritage and full of promise - unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. We are doing this through joint-working, grant funding and sharing our skills.

Historic buildings that have deteriorated through decades of neglect will be restored and put back into use; conservation areas improved to kick-start regeneration and renewal; and unsung places will be recognised and celebrated for their unique character and heritage, helping instil a sense of local pride wherever there's a Heritage Action Zone.

Bishop Auckland

The market town of Bishop Auckland sits in County Durham. This Heritage Action Zone aims to bring neglected buildings back into use to help rejuvenate the town centre and will build on the considerable private investment going into Auckland Castle that will transform it into a faith, art and heritage destination, reinvigorating the town of Bishop Auckland and the wider area.

Photo shows a clock tower archway which is the entrance to Bishop's Park
The Heritage Action Zone will reinvigorate the town of Bishop Auckland and the wider area. © Historic England Archive DP182413

Dewsbury Living Market Town

Dewsbury was the capital of textile recycling in Britain, collecting rags from across the world to recycle into new heavy woollen materials (Shoddy & Mungo). This mill town in Yorkshire is in transition with retail and commercial activity contracting and housing opportunities emerging.

The Heritage Action Zone aims to help drive regeneration of the town centre by: improving the condition and appearance of key buildings within the conservation area 'at risk'; introducing new activity through re-use of vacant buildings and sites and; improving public spaces within the town centre.

Greater Grimsby

Grimsby was once the largest fishing port the world has ever seen, at its peak in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Kasbah area, built in Victorian times, contains the largest collection of fishing related buildings found anywhere in the country, but it's in poor condition following lack of investment after the industry's decline.

North East Lincolnshire Council - with Historic England's support - aims to conserve Grimsby's fishing heritage, which has been a priority for several years, and has intensified following the controversial demolition of buildings on Fish Dock Road.

North East Lincolnshire Council has also recently designated the Kasbah as a Conservation Area with support from the owner Associated British Ports.

Photo shows a yellow skip on a pavememnt and historic buildings in the background revealing Grimsby's fishing heritage
Grimsby was once the largest fishing port the world has ever seen, at its peak in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

North Lowestoft Heritage Quarter

The North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone includes some of the oldest parts of this town in Suffolk. This was originally the main medieval settlement, grown around the fishing industry, with merchants' housing and shops including net stores.The area is home to a number of historic buildings, the oldest dating back to the 15th century.

The key aims of the five year scheme are to restore the old High Street's historic character for the people who live there and to boost tourism. Work will include providing quality spaces for the community, re-connecting the old town to modern Lowestoft, and bringing under-used and vacant land and property back into use for housing and retail.

Photo shows a black and white aerial photo of residential, religious and industrial buiildings
The North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone is home to a number of historic buildings, the oldest dating back to the 15th century. © Historic England

Rochdale Town Centre

The aims of the Rochdale Town Centre Heritage Action Zone include regenerating a key gateway into the town centre, removing the Conservation Area from the 'at risk' register, raising awareness of Rochdale's cooperative heritage, increasing affordable residential schemes, and bringing empty properties back into use.

As a result it is hoped that the image of Rochdale will be transformed, increasing confidence and helping to kick-start residential and commercial ventures.

Photo shows a black and white areial photo including the town hall and clock tower, industrial and residential buildings.
The aims of the Rochdale Town Centre Heritage Action Zone include regenerating a key gateway into the town centre and removing the Conservation Area from the ‘at risk’ register.

Stockton & Darlington Railway

The Stockton and Darlington Railway, 26 miles long, operated in the North East from 1825 to 1863 and was the world's first public railway to use steam locomotives. This Heritage Action Zone scheme will help to restore some of the historic features, like bridges and old railway buildings, along the line with the aim of boosting tourism and creating jobs - all in the build-up to its 2025 bicentenary.

Photo of a boarded and fenced-up railway ticket office with the grass area used to store rubble and and metal railings3
The scheme at the Stockton and Darlington Railway will help to restore some of the historic features along the 26-mile long line with the aim of boosting tourism and creating jobs. © Historic England Archive DP169016

Stoke-on-Trent Ceramic

In Stoke-on-Trent, home of the pottery industry, the focus will be on regenerating Longton High Street, enhancing the local housing offer and protecting surviving bottle kilns throughout the city - looking ahead to the 2021 City of Culture bid.

This Heritage Action Zone scheme will also seek to engage the community to encourage participation in heritage-based activities, and strengthen relationships with the two local universities.

Black and white photo shows railway tracks in front of kiln chimneys
In Stoke-on-Trent the Heritage Action Zone will engage the community to encourage participation in heritage-based activities.

Walworth, London

This Heritage Action Zone aims to rediscover and celebrate Walworth in London as a historic urban village

Key activities will include making improvements to the public realm, and supporting diverse local communities to better understand and enjoy their heritage. It will also support the sustainable delivery of very significant amounts of housing by protecting and celebrating local character and history.

Photo shows the corner of Walworth Town Hall
Walworth Heritage Action Zone will support diverse local communities to better understand and enjoy their heritage. © Historic England Archive DP096647
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