Hinckley High Street Heritage Action Zone


Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council has received agreement from Historic England to deliver a 'high street heritage action zone' (HSHAZ 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 must be delivered between April 2020 and March 2024. 

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.

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 and stakeholders in a coordinated and proactive 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. 

What types of work can be funded?

The Hinckley HSHAZ incorporates a number of exciting projects:

  • Generous grants to historic building owners and occupiers 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 events to appreciate the area and its history

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 from the Borough Council.

What has happened so far?

Building improvement scheme

Historic building owners and occupiers have been able to express their interest in grants to repair and reinstate traditional features upon their building. To date grants have been used to reinstate timber sash windows to 124 Castle Street and repair the historic timber sash windows at 11 Castle Street. 

Vacant spaces and upper floors 

A feasibility study has been undertaken to identify vacant units and underutilised upper floors of buildings to determine whether there are opportunities to change the use of such units, in addition to undertaking adaptations and physical works to better meet the demand of the area as a tool for regeneration. 

Listed building designations

The former Hinckley Constitutional Club on Station Road has been designated as a grade II listed building and the existing grade II listed buildings 3 The Borough and 23 Castle Street have had their listed building entries amended and updated.  Further information on listed buildings   

Building maintenance guide

A guide for property owners on how and when to undertake regular inspections and maintenance of their building has been produced and is to be distributed to all property owners within the HAZ area. The guide is available as a hard and electronic copy. Further information on the Building maintenance guide

Hinckley HSHAZ Hub

The Partridge Suite at the Atkins Building has been established as a ‘hub’ to provide space to support and encourage community engagement and facilitate participation in the HSHAZ scheme and other Council, stakeholder and partner projects.

Community engagement and cultural programme  

Since April 2020 there has been a number of well attended and exciting events to celebrate the rich heritage of Hinckley. These have included:

  • Guided walks through medieval Hinckley by the Hinckley Archaeological Society
  • A ‘Shakespeare in Hinckley’ play delivered by Hinckley’s own Red River Theatre 
  • ‘Hinckley 300’ – a commemoration of 300 years since the establishment of the Atkins family hosiery firm in Hinckley, with images of the hosiery industry being displayed upon a building in the town centre

What happens next?

HSHAZ project development and delivery continues until March 2024 and includes: 

Building improvement scheme

Development work continues towards completing works of repair and reinstating architectural features on a number of historic buildings. All available funding has been allocated, so grants are not currently available, however the Council are still accepting expressions of interest should further money for grants become available by the end of March 2024. Further information on the building improvement scheme  

Church Walk public realm enhancement scheme

The public realm enhancement scheme focuses on making enhancements to the area around the top of Church Walk. Further information on the public realm enhancement scheme

Jitties and yards enhancement scheme

Hinckley’s jitties and yards are key components of its unique historic character. Proposals are being developed for improved soft and hard landscaping throughout Lilley’s Yard, installing heritage signage at each jitty and yard entrance, and maintenance of historic features and fabric throughout. 

Community engagement and cultural programme 

A further programme of engagement and events are planned up to the end of March 2024. Further information on community engagement and cultural programme  

Last updated: 29/06/2023 10:15