This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

North West Highlights

Heritage Action Zone announced for Appleby in Cumbria

Heritage Action Zones (HAZ) are being established to demonstrate how heritage can contribute to economic growth. A HAZ is a programme of projects that provide a targeted response to the economic, social and environmental needs of a particular area. The Appleby programme will be delivered by a partnership of various groups and organisations, headed by lead partners Eden District Council and Historic England.

Appleby's rich heritage

Appleby in Cumbria has a rich heritage as a market town, dating back to the Middle Ages. Both the Castle and St Lawrence's church were in existence by 1120, with buildings lining the main street, Boroughgate, which links the two.

The town was granted its first royal charter, giving special rights to the residents, in 1176. The annual Appleby Horse Fair, a major cultural gathering which attracts thousands of people every June, was founded in 1685.

Moot Hall in Appleby town centre
The Grade II* listed Moot Hall in Appleby town centre © Historic England DP174355

The town was badly affected by the flooding in the winter of 2015/16; a number of buildings were inundated and the railway line between Carlisle and Settle was damaged. This led to the town being designated as a 'Conservation Area At Risk' and added to our Heritage at Risk Register in 2016. Several key buildings are individually at risk, particularly the Keep at Appleby Castle and the White Hart Hotel on Boroughgate.

How the Heritage Action Zone will help

The Heritage Action Zone focusses on reviving the tourism economy, which is vital for the town's economic success. Its objectives include improving shop fronts and bringing vacant space back into use in the town centre, creating new jobs as a result. Also intended are projects that will make Appleby more attractive to visitors. We're planning other projects that will involve the local community in helping to manage and celebrate the heritage of their conservation area. Importantly a flood resilience plan will be developed with key partners.

Find out more about Heritage Action Zones


View along Boroughgate in Appleby, looking towards the historic Moot Hall and St Lawrence’s Church
View along Boroughgate in Appleby, looking towards the historic Moot Hall and St Lawrence’s Church © Historic England

Good News for Flaybrick Cemetery on the Wirral

A partnership between Wirral Council and Historic England is bringing fresh hope for the future of Flaybrick Memorial Gardens (Grade II*) in Birkenhead, one of England's most important Victorian garden cemeteries.

Aerial view of Flaybrick Cemetery in Birkenhead, Wirral
Aerial view of Flaybrick Cemetery in Birkenhead, Wirral © Historic England

A plan for the cemetery's future

A current task is to produce a Conservation Management Plan - which may also reveal more about the history of this 152-year-old cemetery. The specialists appointed will work with the Friends of Flaybrick and the wider community to look at the present-day needs of the entire site, from trees to landscape design, to graves and buildings. Armed with this plan, Wirral Council and partners will be able to make informed decisions about Flaybrick's future, hastening its removal from the Heritage at Risk Register. The plan should be ready in early summer.

Repairs under way

Meanwhile, urgent repairs to the derelict cemetery chapels are continuing with scaffolding due to come down this spring. Conservation specialists have been working tirelessly to stabilise the chapel walls and repair stonework and carvings which have been hidden for over 30 years. Fallen masonry is being preserved in the hope that the stones may eventually be reused. The work, costing £325,000, is being jointly funded by Wirral Council and Historic England.

Commenting on the work, Cllr Jerry Williams, Wirral's Heritage Champion said: "We believe that Flaybrick is one of the finest locations of funerary architecture in Britain. We are working with Historic England to make the chapels safe once again, which we feel will go a long way to improving public perception and appreciation of this important location".

Park Rangers at Flaybrick Cemetery, with the central funeral chapels in the background
Park Rangers at Flaybrick Cemetery, with the central funeral chapels in the background © Historic England DP169849

Manchester Heritage Buildings Network

Historic England in the North West has been working in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Manchester City Council, the Architectural Heritage Fund and Manchester Community Central to provide a series of training sessions aimed at voluntary groups in Manchester considering taking on a 'heritage building' project.

The programme evolved out of a desire to improve the success of groups applying for grants for heritage projects in Manchester. An initial workshop with representatives from community groups identified a number of skills or knowledge gaps and demonstrated the appetite for the advice and support that the combined agencies could offer to the voluntary sector.

So far training sessions have been delivered on 'Developing the Vision', 'Gearing up' 'Finding Funding', 'VAT issues', and most recently 'Delivering the Project'. Sessions have been a mix of group activities, presentations, inspiring talks by guest speakers and discussion.

Feedback has been really positive so far and the interactive nature of the programme has meant that the delegates have helped to shape the subsequent training sessions. As the programme nears its end, we intend to produce a resource pack and video clips of interviews of participants. These will be available to other community groups to help encourage, support and inspire them in getting involved in similar heritage projects.

Christina Sinclair advises delegates on planning and listed building regulations
Christina Sinclair advises delegates on planning and listed building regulations © Manchester City Council

Training opportunities coming up in the North West

Our Historic Environment Local Management (HELM) training programme provides training on managing the historic environment for local authorities, regional agencies and national organisations, free of charge. Here you can find out more about our courses.

We work with partners to deliver courses that:

  • Provide advice and practical tools to further understanding of heritage issues
  • Enable people to make decisions which enhance and protect our heritage for future generations

Listed below are the latest training opportunities in the North West for 2017/18.

For more information on any of the above courses contact the training delivery team on

Find out more about HELM opportunities across the country.

Follow us on Twitter @HE NorthWest to keep up to date with all the latest training opportunities, news and pictures from the region.

Delegates at a recent HELM training event in Kendal
Delegates at a recent HELM training event in Kendal © Historic England
Was this page helpful?


North West Office

3rd floor Canada House,
3 Chepstow Street,
M1 5FW

View on map

Also of interest...