Nottingham has been chosen as one of the country’s first 10 ‘Heritage Action Zones’, Historic England announced today (Monday 20 March 2017).  The project will breathe new life into some of the city’s neglected historic buildings and sites, bringing them back into use as housing or retail spaces, and transform the city centre’s ‘at risk’ conservation areas.

Nottingham joins Appleby in Cumbria, Coventry in the West Midlands, Elsecar in South Yorkshire, Hull in East Yorkshire, King’s Lynn in North Norfolk,  Ramsgate in Kent, Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, Sutton in South London and  Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, which have all been selected as Heritage Action Zones.

The scheme is being run in partnership with Nottingham City Council and will help to restore the city’s historic character, boost tourism and create jobs. Historic England in the East Midlands will provide an estimated £1.5million to the project, with the rest to come from public and private funds.  Nottingham City Council will manage and deliver the programme.

Some of the areas being targeted for regeneration are: Old Market Square and Lace Market, home to the city’s Creative Quarter, which were both added to the Register of conservation areas at risk in 2016; and Sneinton Market, popular with new start-ups.

Louise Brennan, Planning Director for Historic England in the East Midlands, said:

“Nottingham has so much to be proud of.  Where else can you find Saxon and Norman streets, medieval caves, a colonnaded market square and factories built like mansions, all in one square mile?   Some of its historic buildings are showing signs of neglect. But with a little investment and imagination they can become an asset for the city’s economy once again.  This Heritage Action Zone will put heritage at the heart of Nottingham’s future development.”

Cllr Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport at Nottingham City Council said: “We’re really proud that Nottingham has been chosen as one of the country’s first ‘Heritage Action Zones’ by Historic England. Our historic buildings and structures bring significant benefits to the city and create a sense of place specific only to Nottingham.

“The city’s unique character and history is a powerful pull for investment, business and visitors, so our ambitious heritage-led regeneration plans will help to restore some of that unique character and history”.