Delapidated factory building
Frank A. Peterson Ltd factory building in Grimsby © Historic England DP174780
Frank A. Peterson Ltd factory building in Grimsby © Historic England DP174780

Finding the Right Property

Across England, more than 15,000 listed buildings are at risk or vulnerable to neglect and decay. A number of these offer potential for redevelopment and reinvigoration. They can be acquired more cheaply than other properties and taking time to understand their potential can give you a competitive advantage. Finding the right one for you will require careful research, but there are ways in which we can help make the process quicker and easier.

Heritage at Risk

Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register includes details of England’s Grade I and II* listed buildings that are currently at risk.

From closed chapels to surplus naval stores the aim is the same - to find people and businesses willing to invest in their future. Not all the buildings on the Register are for sale but Historic England are constantly updating and even extending the entries to provide as much information as possible.

An interactive database provides detailed information on all heritage sites at risk. As well as information about the significance and condition of the building, each entry identifies the Historic England point of contact who can help explain the development potential of the property.

To make things even easier, Historic England's local teams have developed lists of their top ten priority sites.

Local Authority registers

The best way to find out about Grade II buildings in need of adaptive re-use is to consult the separate registers of local buildings at risk that are maintained by many local planning authorities.

Like Historic England's register, these lists are designed to raise awareness of the development opportunities of buildings that have fallen on hard times, but that could be given a new lease of life with the right mix of investment, creativity and sensitivity.

SAVE Britain’s heritage

SAVE is an independent charity that campaigns for the future of endangered historic buildings.

For 35 years it has championed adaptive re-use of decaying country houses, closed churches and chapels, disused mills and warehouses, town halls, railway stations, hospitals, military buildings and asylums.

Once a year SAVE publishes its own catalogue of buildings at risk.

Aimed at potential new owners, the catalogue also features spotlight articles on particular building types and has a section focusing on 'successes' and 'scandals'.

Listed Property Owners' Club

The Listed Property Owners' Club has a list of properties for sale on their website, which includes domestic dwellings, barns and other buildings.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

Every quarter, the SPAB compiles and publishes a list of historic buildings in need of repair or new use that are for sale or lease.

These range from castles to cottages to churches to industrial buildings and prices range from £50,000 to £10 million.