Weston-super-Mare announced as a Historic Action Zone

Posted April 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm

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A £6million nationwide project has been launched to unlock untapped potential in areas that are rich in heritage, bringing historic places back to life to attract residents, tourists, businesses and investors, and create economic growth in villages, towns and cities across England.

Historic England has announced Weston-super-Mare as one of the first ten places to receive funding over the next three-to-five years. Through the drive, listed buildings that have been neglected will be restored and brought back into use as housing, retail or community spaces; conservation areas improved to kick start regeneration; and historic sites developed as visitor attractions.

Over three years this Heritage Action Zone aims to boost economic growth and keep Weston on the map as a great place to live and work. Activity resulting from the funding for The Great Weston Heritage Action Zone will include:

  • Researching Weston’s heritage and urban development, to inform a new book
  • Reviewing Weston’s listed buildings
  • Bringing the town centre’s historic buildings back into use as high quality homes
  • Grant schemes to improve the public realm, shop signs and shopfronts
  • New, clear heritage routes across the town, plus new pedestrian access to Weston Museum, Weston Town Square, the seafront and side lanes
  • Improved design standards and quality in conservation areas and surrounding areas
  • A local listing project
  • Heritage health walks and a ‘Looking Up’ initiative to encourage appreciation of Weston’s heritage

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: ‘Our heritage and historic buildings are beautiful assets that make our towns and cities unique. They tell the story of a town’s past and should be protected and cherished, and this scheme will bring communities together to appreciate their local heritage. Making the most out of our listed buildings will help attract more tourists, reinvigorate local areas, and grow local economies, meaning residents and businesses across the country will benefit.’

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: ‘Through Heritage Action Zones we are providing help where it’s needed most. England’s rich heritage is one of our greatest capital assets and it’s time to use it to bring about positive change in our communities. The historic environment offers people a sense of place, a sense of pride and a sense of belonging – and it helps millions earn a living in this country. Everyone should have a share in its potential.’