The pier at Margate
Margate Pier, Kent © Historic England DP032181
Margate Pier, Kent © Historic England DP032181

Heritage Action Zones – Breathing New Life Into Old Places

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

Working with local people and partners, we are 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.

Historic England support

These are some of the services we are providing to the Heritage Action Zones:

  • Research into historic sites or buildings (e.g. to identify the significance of a place or find a technical solution to a problem)
  • Funding, including Repair Grants for listed buildings, scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens, and Capacity Building Grants for wider area-based schemes
  • Advice on repairing and finding new uses for buildings
  • Advice on planning policy
  • Condition surveys of buildings and monuments
  • Historic Area Assessments to understand and explain the heritage interest of an area, and characterisation reports
  • Help with updating entries on the National Heritage List for England - the official register of protected historic buildings and sites (this can offer clarity about where change is possible)
  • Training in how to assess the significance of historic places
  • Help with identifying places that could be listed (this can help to inform and facilitate decisions on the future of an area)
  • Help with engaging local communities
  • Networks and contacts that may bring other key players to the table
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