People sitting in the Old Market Square
Old Market Square, Nottingham © Historic England DP046392
Old Market Square, Nottingham © Historic England DP046392

The Heart of Nottingham Heritage Action Zone

Revealing the city's history to secure its future conservation.

The Heart of Nottingham Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) comes at a moment when ambitions for the heritage in Nottingham are higher than they have been for a number of years. Building on the multiple award winning Nottingham Station (listed Grade II*) project, there's a desire to use the historic environment to improve the city's attractiveness to investors and visitors and to engage its residents.


The objectives of the HAZ are to use the historic environment of Nottingham to reveal the city's history and in turn secure its future conservation. We'll achieve this through various means from research and listing, through to innovative conservation area management and grant assistance.

The economic and heritage needs are high. In 2015, Nottingham was ranked eighth for the proportion of its wards in the top 10% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Thirteen of its 31 conservation areas are at risk in the Historic England conservation areas survey. On the local register, compiled as part of a pilot survey of Grade II listed buildings, 81 of its listed buildings are at risk.

The resources requested are:

£1.6 million over five years from Historic England to be matched by £1 million public and private capital and a further £902,000 in associated projects and in kind contributions from Nottingham City Council.

Much of this will be dedicated to heritage led regeneration tailored to address these needs, informed by our Heritage Works research.

How the Heart of Nottingham HAZ will help

The strategy for conservation areas at risk is to target four key central conservation areas to address the risk that has resulted in their inclusion on the Heritage at Risk (HAR) Register. This draws upon recommendations from Historic England's Urban Panel to "repair the townscape and the economy at the same time".

Bromley House, the Georgian subscription library situated on the Old Market Square, has approached Historic England for a substantial grant towards roof repairs. We added this Grade II* building to the HAR Register in 2016 and we're currently advising the library on making their grant application.

Research and publication of a book about the Old Market Square will tell Nottingham's history through the key themes illustrated by that single area.


To improve the recognition and understanding of the city's histsoric sites, the council have decided to refresh and re-launch the local list using the Civic Society as lead delivery partner. From this, Historic England will consider a shortlist for national listing. To help prepare for this, Historic England has commissioned a Research Report on the buildings of the Broadmarsh area.

Another opportunity stems from the Historic England funded Nottingham Caves Project, which has identified more than 550 man-made caves dating from the Saxon period to the 20th century. Again, a shortlist generated by and agreed with the city council will form the basis of a review.

A heritage schools project will bring the city's heritage to the next generation. Local schools will use it as a stimulus to explore wider themes, telling the story of Nottingham in a way that will engage with the national curriculum.


  • Nottingham Civic Society is a strong local partner with a long history of good works in the city
  • Creative Quarter Ltd is an arm's length regeneration company who have a full time staff dedicated to the regeneration of the Lace Market area

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Clive Fletcher

Principal Advisor, Historic Places

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