North Lowestoft has been chosen as one of the country’s latest Heritage Action Zones, John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, today announced in a speech.
As part of a five year scheme run by Waveney District Council and Historic England, neglected buildings will be brought back into use as housing or retail spaces, areas improved to kick-start regeneration, and an ‘at risk’ conservation area transformed.
Heritage Action Zones first came into being earlier this year and aim to unleash the power in England’s historic environment to create economic growth and improve quality of life in villages, towns and cities.
Working with local people and partners, Historic England will help to breathe new life into old places that are rich in heritage and full of promise - unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.
The North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone includes some of the oldest parts of the town. This was originally the main medieval settlement, grown around the fishing industry, with merchants’ housing and commercial premises lining the High Street on the cliff top, whilst the buildings associated with fishing, such as net stores and workers cottages were on the lower ground area by the sea. The area is home to many fine historic buildings, the oldest dating back to the 15th century, as well as the late 19th century registered park and garden, Belle Vue Park.
The scheme is being led by Waveney District Council, along with partners Lowestoft Town Council, East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust and Lowestoft Vision - and will help to restore the town’s historic character and boost tourism. Some of the historic areas that will be the focus of the Heritage Action Zone are the High Street and Scores, and the narrow pathways that link the High Street to the sea.
The detailed delivery plan for the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone will now be prepared for delivery from spring 2018 onwards, and will identify any grant-funding to be provided by Historic England.
John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said:
"Our heritage not only tells the story of our past, it creates great places to live, work and visit. The Heritage Action Zone scheme will make the most out of Lowestoft’s historic environment to kick-start regeneration, increase tourism and boost investment."
John Neale, Planning Director for Historic England in the East of England, said:
“Lowestoft has so much to be proud of, from its historic Scores to the South Beach. Some of its historic buildings are showing signs of neglect, but with a little investment and imagination they can become assets for the people of Lowestoft to enjoy and for the town’s economy.
We are looking forward to working with Waveney District Council and their partners to raise awareness of what Lowestoft has to offer and to make it easy for investors and developers to bring jobs, homes and visitors here.”
Councillor Michael Ladd, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Economic Development and Heritage Champion at Waveney District Council, said:
“We’re delighted that Lowestoft has been chosen as one of the country’s Heritage Action Zones by Historic England. We can’t wait to get started on the project and to ensure that the town’s character and heritage will truly benefit the area, and current and future generations.”
The full list of the eight Heritage Action Zones announced today:
This is the second wave of Heritage Action Zones. The first wave (made up of ten Heritage Action Zones) was announced in March 2017.