Hinckley high street heritage action zone launched

Published Wednesday, 26 August 2020

More than £1.85 million of funding and heritage expertise is set to safeguard and celebrate Hinckley Town Centre over the next four years.

This is part of the town’s High Street Heritage Action Zone and to help recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and Historic England have formally launched the town’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), a four-year scheme which has been 50% funded by Historic England. The remainder of funding is to come from private and public sources and includes a contribution of approximately £360,000 from the Borough Council.

The national heritage-led regeneration programme is a flagship initiative designed to secure lasting improvements to historic high streets and the communities who use them. The Hinckley Town Centre Conservation Area Action Zone has been chosen as one of a number of zones throughout the country that will help to transform historic places. It will include an array of projects to help safeguard and celebrate the heritage of the town and will play a key role in the economic and social recovery of the town centre following COVID-19.

The scheme, led by the Borough Council, will see:

  • Improvement in the area around Church Walk Car Park, Castle Street and the historic jitties and yards
  • The opportunity for historic building owners and occupiers within the retail core of the town centre to apply for generous grants for works of repair and reinstating traditional features, with a particular focus on shop fronts
  • Determining whether vacant buildings and spaces and spaces can be re-developed and improved
  • A range of events and activities to engage people in Hinckley’s heritage and culture

Historic England will work with the Council and other partners, with the aim of using Hinckley’s unique historic environment to revitalise the town centre. The HSHAZ will involve the local community, Hinckley Business Improvement District (BID), Hinckley & District Museum, Leicestershire County Council, local cultural and educational establishments, history groups in the development and delivery of the finalised plans.

A dedicated Project Officer has already been recruited to lead the HSHAZ. The first undertakings to get underway this autumn will be:

  • A request for the local community to identify the buildings and spaces within the town centre they would like to see developed and improved
  • A request for the local community and others to provide information to help inform the detailed design of the improvements to the historic buildings and spaces 
  • Contacting historic building owners and occupiers to provide details of the grants available
  • The launch of a range of cultural events and activities for which the community can be engaged

Executive Member for the HSHAZ, Deputy Council Leader, Cllr David Bill said:

I am delighted to see the High Street Heritage Action Zone get off the ground. We are extremely privileged to have been selected for this scheme by Historic England and I am sure their expertise will help revitalise Hinckley town centre. It is extremely timely that we can start work on this project as every town centre across the country has suffered during the pandemic but this project will enable us to help regenerate our town centre and surrounding areas.

I look forward to working with our key partners over the coming months as we collaborate on a whole range of improvement ideas.