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West Midlands Highlights

Heritage at Risk in the West Midlands

There are 433 entries on this year's Heritage at Risk register for the West Midlands, consisting of a range of heritage assets including scheduled monuments, listed buildings, conservation areas and registered parks and gardens.

Our Heritage at Risk team has identified ten priorities for the West Midlands: Snodhill Castle and Clifford Castle both in Herefordshire, 31 High Street in Droitwich, the Lady Herbert's Garden & the Burges Conservation Area in Coventry, the Price and Kensington Teapot Factory in Stoke-on-Trent, Bedlam Furnace in the Ironbridge Gorge, and the Former School of Art, Moseley, Curzon Street Station and Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham.

Visit this page throughout the year for update on our progress in helping to find new and sustainable uses for these historic sites.

The interior of Price and Kensington Teapot Factory in Stoke-on-Trent
The interior of Price and Kensington Teapot Factory in Stoke-on-Trent

Grant breathes new life into an iconic hotel building

Historic England has contributed £400,000 to the multi-million pound project to save the Grand Hotel, one of Birmingham's largest 19th century buildings. Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and owners Horton Estate are the other partners in the £4.8million scheme.

Built in 1879, the building provides the backdrop to St Philip's Cathedral and was tailored to a market of commercial clients by providing commercial stock and arbitration rooms. Later extensions designed by Martin and Chamberlain added a magnificent suite of function rooms. The project to repair and reuse this iconic Grade II* listed building will deliver a significant improvement to the central business district of the city.

The Grand Hotel was added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 2005 when the hotel closed, leaving the building only partially occupied and the front elevation shrouded in protective scaffolding to prevent masonry falling on the public below.

Banqueting tables set up inside Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel in Birmingham - interior showing set up for a dinner for project stakeholders © Historic England

What the grant is paying for

Work funded by Historic England includes external fabric repairs to the hotel, shops and offices, stripping back layers of cement based render and paint from the front elevation to restore the stonework, repairs to more than 180 windows, repair of rainwater goods, roofing, brickwork and chimneys.

Poor quality shop-fronts have been replaced with high quality new ones. The new retail units are now attracting prestige tenants, and work to restore the main part of the building and transform it into a luxury hotel is well under way.

Catch up on developments on the Grand Hotel project.

Uncover the hidden stories behind the Marches castles

Across the country Historic England is crowdsourcing knowledge and photographs for the official list of the nation's 400,000 most significant historic places. This is the first time in history the list has been opened up for public contributions and your chance to get involved.

Here in the West Midlands we are asking you to share your photos and information to discover the hidden history of the castles which punctuate the Marches on our border with Wales. They are particularly vulnerable and some, like Snodhill Caslte, are among our Heritage at Risk priorities.

Some 99% of people in England live within a mile of a listed building or place and you can discover your nearest by searching the list using a postcode. With 34,379 listed buildings, 1,423 scheduled monuments and 162 other places in the West Midlands, there is bound to be one near you.

By sharing your photos, old or new, and by telling the story of the people and events which have shaped the places we live in, you'll be part of a growing community of people getting involved in their local heritage.

Once you've added your information please do let us know. You can share your entries with us on Twitter @HE_WestMids where you can also keep up to date with all the latest news and pictures from the region.

People standing in front of castle ruins
Trustees of the Snodhill Castle Preservation Trust (used with permission of Robert Wyatt)

Coventry – the Making of a Modern City

'Coventry: the making of a modern city 1939 – 1973' by Jeremy Gould and Caroline Gould has been published by Historic England.

The book tells the story of the re-birth of the city centre in the aftermath of the devastating Coventry Blitz.

With the world looking to Coventry for hope and a vision of a better future, City Architect Donald Gibson and his successors introduced pioneering planning principles. These included the separation of cars and pedestrians. With its traffic-free shopping areas, post-war Coventry was hugely influential and Gibson's ideas helped to shape the rebuilding of other town and city centres across Europe.

The demands of a growing city on its centre are now very different from those of the post-war years. Coventry needs to grow and plan for its future.

This book shines a spotlight on the significance of Coventry’s remarkable post-war heritage. It provides that vital understanding for the public and decision makers to use to ensure that future change will continue the life, use and enjoyment of the best of Coventry's past.

You can buy a copy of Coventry: making of a modern city 1939 – 1973 on our web site.

Black and white photo giving aerial view of Coventry Market.
Coventry Market © Historic England

Rushall War Memorial now protected with Grade II listing

Rushall War Memorial war memorial has been listed Grade II.

Built by communities in the years following the conflict, these memorials are a poignant, physical reminder of the sacrifices and loss the First World War brought about. One hundred years on, it is time to come together again to ensure our memorials are in good condition, and properly recognised by listing where appropriate.

Help us protect 2,500 memorials by 2018

The war memorial, in the churchyard of St Michael the Archangel, is among hundreds to be listed over the last year through Historic England's pledge to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018, marking the centenary of the First World War. To do this we need you to put forward your local war memorial listing. Find out more about how community groups and individuals are listing memorials and the grants currently available via the War Memorials Trust.

Follow us on Twitter @HE_WestMids to keep up to date with all the latest war memorial listings, news and pictures from the region.

Rushall War Memorial
Rushall War Memorial © Nargiz Aituganova

Training opportunities coming up in the West Midlands

The Historic Environment Local Management (HELM) Training courses are free to attend for Local Authority, regional and national organisations' staff.

Listed below are the latest training opportunities in the West Midlands.

For more information on this, or any of our courses, contact the training delivery team on

Find out more about HELM opportunities across the country.

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

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West Midlands Office

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