The initiative will ‘breathe new life into unloved places’

Ramsgate harbour, Kent

Historic England has this week launched a £6m drive to invest in national heritage and boost sustainable growth. Heritage Action Zones aim to ‘breathe new life into unloved places’, restoring and reviving neglected areas.

In collaboration with local partners, Historic England seeks to unlock untapped potential in historic sites, bringing then back to life to attract businesses, investors, residents and tourists, creating economic growth in cities, towns and villages across England.

The drive will restore and bring back into use deteriorated and neglected historic buildings; improve conservation to kick-start regeneration and renewal; and recognise and promote the unique character and heritage of unsung places, helping raise their profile and instil local pride.

The first 10 Heritage Action Zones are in:

  • Appleby, a medieval market town in Cumbria;
  • Coventry;
  • Elsecar, an old coal-mining village in Barnsley, South Yorkshire;
  • Hull Old Town, whose maritime heritage dates back to the late 12th Century;
  • King’s Lynn, a strategically placed modern medieval town in West Norfolk;
  • Nottingham;
  • Ramsgate, where a five-year plan will engage the local community with heritage;
  • Sunderland;
  • Sutton, a suburban South West London borough whose high street is a Conservation Area at Risk; and
  • Weston-super-Mare

Historic England plans to award Heritage Action Zone status to more cities, towns and villages over the next two years. Applications will open again in May 2017. For more information, visit


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