Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council has received agreement from Historic England to deliver a 'high street heritage action zone' (HAZ for short) within Hinckley. The High Street Heritage Action Zone consists of a range of projects worth £1.85 million with the aim of using Hinckley’s unique historic environment to revitalise the town centre. Projects are to be launched from the autumn of 2020 onwards with overall completion by the end of March 2024. The Borough Council believes the High Street Heritage Action Zone can play a key role in the economic and social recovery of the town centre following COVID-19.
What is a high street heritage action zone?
A high street heritage action zone is a heritage-led regeneration programme designed to secure lasting improvements to our historic high streets and the communities who use them. The zone is located within Hinckley Town Centre Conservation Area and comprises an exciting and innovative array of projects, to help safeguard and celebrate the heritage of the town. High street heritage action zones are Historic England’s flagship initiative to help transform historic places and Hinckley is one of a number of zones chosen throughout the country.
Who is involved?
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council will need to work closely alongside high street stakeholders and a number of local organisations to develop and deliver the programme as a partnership. Stakeholders including Hinckley Business Improvement District (BID), Hinckley Museum, Leicestershire County Council, cultural and educational establishments and local history groups have been involved in the development of the High Street Heritage Action Zone programme so far and will continue to be involved in its delivery. Local communities have a key role in deciding what works they want to see happening within the Hinckley High Street Heritage Action Zone and what sort of place they want it to be.
Why Hinckley Town Centre Conservation Area?
The conservation area has a unique and special character. However, in recent times it has suffered from the loss of historic building details, the installation of some unsympathetically styled shop fronts, and some poor quality modern development. Certain buildings demonstrate a lack of maintenance and repair. Areas of the public realm and shared spaces within the town centre provide great opportunities for improvement. The conservation area is currently on the Historic England at risk register.
A high street heritage action zone provides the opportunity to work with partners in a coordinated and pro-active way in order to address these issues. In doing so, we would help secure the long-term sustainability of the area for future generations by preserving, restoring and enhancing its architectural, historical and cultural heritage. Delivering a high street heritage action zone would also support the building of momentum for the regeneration of Hinckley Town Centre as a whole, meet the aims of the council’s heritage strategy, and assist in the delivery of other complimentary projects including those identified in the Hinckley Town Centre Public Realm Masterplan.
What types of work can be funded?
A programme design document has been produced which identifies a number of exciting projects:
- Historic building owners and occupiers can apply for generous grants for works of repair and reinstating traditional features, including a particular focus on shop fronts
- Works to improve the public realm (areas of open space and spaces between buildings) and to facilitate safer pedestrian movement
- Determining whether vacant buildings and spaces can be brought into alternative uses that better meet the demand of the area
- Increasing understanding and awareness of heritage assets within the town centre
- Putting management procedures in place to secure the long-term conservation of heritage assets
- Engaging the public through a range of activities and training to appreciate the area and its history
Historic buildings located on Castle Street (lower and upper), Market Place, The Borough and Station Road have been chosen as the focus for the proposed works of enhancement. The works to the public realm are targeted to the area around the Church Walk Car Park, Castle Street and the historic jitties located off Castle Street.
The projects total £1.85 million with Historic England providing approximately 50% of the funding required. The remainder of funding is to come from private and public sources and includes a contribution of approximately £360,000 from the Borough Council.
What happens next?
Over the next three years, the Hinckley HSHAZ will work with local communities, partners and stakeholders to research, develop and deliver projects that celebrate the rich heritage of Hinckley. Community engagement is critical to the development of the projects so safe and innovative ways to engage with people are being devised. Further details of individual projects will be provided shortly, alongside details of how local people can get involved.
Building Improvement Scheme: Historic building owners and occupiers are to be contacted and provided details about the grants that are available. Further details can be found on the link below.
If you would like further information on the Hinckley High Street Heritage Action Zone, please contact us using the details below.
Last updated: 18/11/2020 10:49