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Regeneration Through Heritage

Front cover for Regeneration through Heritage. Understanding the Development Potential of Historic European Arsenals

Understanding the development Potential of Historic European Arsenals

By Mark Stevenson (editor and SHARP co-ordinator)

Foreword by Sir Neil Cossons, contributions by: John Anderson, Jonathan Borg, Alan Byrne, Martin Crookston, Mario Farrugia, Jonathan Gill, David Almorza Gomar, Jose Maria Esteban Gonzalez, Tim Griggs, Alan Johnson, Jannu Kuusik, Liisa Pakosta, Jaanus Reisner, Neil Sams, David Score, Malcolm Woods

Europe's military heritage is a key feature of the built environment, which is often overlooked and under valued. During past centuries of military conflict arsenal sites were developed at strategically important coastline locations in readiness to help support military ambitions or repel invasion often from our European neighbours. Thankfully we live in more peaceful times, but the legacies of these wonderfully crafted military complexes remain today for all of us to see and experience.

Led by English Heritage with the support of the London Development Agency, the SHARP project (Sustainable Historic Arsenal Regeneration Partnership) and part-financeded by European Union, INTERREG IIIc, has been working closely with our partners in Spain, Malta and Estonia to develop a robust and rigorous blueprint on how to regenerate these irreplaceable sites. This has been achieved by sharing experiences from four important and diverse locations: the Royal Arsenal, at Woolwich; the Real Carenero Arsenal at Cadiz, Spain; the Cottonera in Malta and the Battery in Tallinn, Estonia.

This report sets out clearly how the SHARP process has enabled each of the partners to exchange knowledge and ideas; generate greater awareness and interest within their local communities; and highlight the collective importance of these features of our European heritage.

In addition, the SHARP project has set out a solid way forward for the regeneration of large complex sites, which can be translated to other historic places across Europe. This report recognises that understanding and managing sensitively our heritage as manifested in its buildings, spaces and stories is an essential component of achieving a sustainable future which can be enjoyed by generations to come.






1. The Sustainable Historic Arsenal Regeneration Partnership (SHARP): An Introduction

2. Historical Background

   The Royal Arsenal,Woolwich, England

   The Battery, Tallinn, Estonia

   The Grand Harbour, Malta

   The Real Carenero Arsenal, Cadiz, Andalusia

3. The SHARP Themes


   Masterplanning: The Ground Rules of Development

   Public-Private Partnerships: A Meeting of Minds

   Heritage: The Power of Historic Place

   Tourism: New Doors to Our Shared Past

   Education: Respect from Understanding

   Sustainable Regeneration: The Legacy of Change

4. Lessons Learnt: Regeneration Through Heritage

5. Conclusion: Bringing SHARP into Focus

The SHARP Partnership

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Out of Print
  • ISBN: 978 1 905624 57 7


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Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

  • The 'new' town of Valletta is shown to right of ancient settlement across the Grand Harbour, Malta © FWA
  • The SHARP Partnership visiting The Battery, Tallinn © English Heritage
  • The SHARP Partnership meeting council leaders and developers, Malta © English Heritage
  • SHARP partners plus guests at Fort Rinella Battery, Malta, February 2005 © English Heritage
  • Royal Military Academy, 1720. Birth place of the Royal Artillery © English Heritage IMG_1145
  • Recycling historic material for new uses, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich © English Heritage
  • Prison beds remain in the converted derelict Battery, Tallinn © MM Stevenson
  • Plaques remembering those killed in the prison, The Battery, Tallinn © MM Stevenson
  • Plan showing layout of the defended causeway and bridge of the Real Carenero © UCA
  • The main building range, Real Carenero, Cadiz © UCA CARENEROS
  • The legacy of neglect, Real Carenero, Cadiz © English Heritage
  • A child trying to work out an anti-aircraft gun and finding its not an easy task! Homefront Museum, Couvre Porte, Birgu, Malta © Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna
  • Explaining Malta's 20th century past. If presented in the right way heritage can be fun and entertaining! © FWA
  • The Battery, Tallinn depicting rows of gun casemates on each of three floors © EKA
  • 1697 Laboratory Building, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich © English Heritage