How working in partnership is helping to save Nottingham’s heritage

Thanks to the people of Nottingham, leading heritage experts and Nottingham City Council, some of Nottingham’s most important heritage assets and buildings have been saved, restored or given extra protection.

Since the launch of the Nottingham Heritage Strategy in 2015, Nottingham City Council working in partnership with leading public and private sector partners as well as members of the public, have seen a number of successful projects launched, which has helped the city to celebrate its heritage and place it at the heart of City’s regeneration plans.

Many of Nottingham’s historical assets and buildings are privately owned and are often at risk of being lost due to the cost and expertise required to maintain, protect and repair them.

Nottingham City Council’s vison, as set out in the Heritage Strategy, has meant that as well as the council proactively supporting owners through grant funding schemes or the planning process, working in partnership has enabled the Council to identify and monitor Nottingham’s heritage, and create plans to help protect and save it.

Some of Nottingham’s successful partnerships include the creation of the City of Nottingham Historic Buildings Limited charity (CoNHBL), which aims to identify heritage monuments, registered parks and gardens, historic buildings in conservation areas and locally listed treasures that need help.

Registered as a company in July 2018 and as a charity in February 2020, the CoNHBL has already delivered the viability phase for the long-term future of the grade II listed Bulwell Hall Stables with Bonsers Restoration and Nottingham City Council. The charity use the Nottingham Building at Risk register to prioritise their activities.

Grade II listed Bulwell Hall Stables
CoNHBL has delivered the viability phase for it’s long-term future

One of the ways in which the public have got involved with local heritage is nominating entries for Nottingham’s Local List.

First established many years ago by the council, but developed further by the Nottingham Civic Society, Nottingham’s local list was formally adopted by Nottingham City Council in 2018, and showcases the city’s unique history and distinctive character, by putting a focus on assets that are special because they are locally important. Local residents can put forward possible entries for the list, recognising and celebrating the city’s diverse heritage and the contribution communities have made to the history of the city.

Examples of buildings now on Nottingham’s Local List

If selected, owners of the buildings and assets on the list do not need to seek any additional permissions than they already have and they can continue to make changes, repairs and maintenance as normal. However, if they require any future planning permissions, their historic importance can be taken into account as part of the planning decision process.  

It also means these important assets cannot just be demolished or have their appearance altered, without considering their historic value. Assets which have been nominated and selected to be included on the list include, Basford Library, the Northern Baths at Basford and the Birkin Lace Factory.

Another way in which local communities have become involved in their local heritage has been through the creation of conservation areas like in the Old Meadows. Plans to make the Old Meadows into a conservation area were first put forward by members of the community through the Old Meadows Tenants and Residents Association. Approved by Nottingham City Council in 2020, the status now helps protect the area’s distinctive historical and architectural features, which have to be taken into account for all types of development and ensures architecture is preserved and special consent gained to tear down buildings.

Other Conservation areas in the city include the Lace Market, the Old Market Square and Nottingham Station. The status has helped the council secure funding from Historic England and National Heritage Lottery Fund. Through this partnership, Nottingham City Council has been able to provide building owners and tenants with grants towards repairs to historic buildings, including restoring architecture and traditional shop fronts like at the City Buildings on Carrington Street and Wolf on Market Street as part of the Carrington Street Townscape Heritage and Heritage Action Zone schemes (HAZ).

Wolf on Market Street. Part of the Heritage Action Zone Scheme

Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council said: “We’re really proud of the efforts of so many local people, organisations and owners of historic buildings and assets, who have recognised the importance of Nottingham’s heritage and come together to help restore, protect and preserve it for future generations.

“By working together and with support from Nottingham City Council through planning polices and grant funded schemes, heritage led regeneration can act as a catalyst for future investment and jobs which will be really important for Nottingham as the city recovers from Covid-19.”

Hilary Silvester, Chair of the Nottingham Civic Society said: “Nottingham Civic Society has always appreciated the close relationship with Nottingham City Council. The Civic Society value the opportunity to be consulted, advise upon and support the interests of the city’s heritage. We approve of how the Nottingham City Council are concern about heritage and appreciate the enthusiasm with which officers from Planning and Cultural Teams strive to protect the historic environment.

“Over the years the civic society have been involved in a number of projects which have conserved the heritage of Nottingham and we continue to work productively Nottingham City Council. In recent years we have been happy to be part of the Nottingham Heritage Panel, the Local List Selection Panel and conservation area grants panels.”

More information about Nottingham’s Local List, and how you can get involved visit: https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/locallist

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