Lichfields' James Fryatt has produced a new report that says embedding heritage-led regeneration is key to historic towns’ future

Member Article

Grimsby's a heritage-led regeneration success story, says new report

Grimsby is a ‘great’ example of how far-sighted heritage funding can secure a brighter future for local historic towns, according to a new report produced by planning experts.

The ‘Historic Opportunities’ report from planning and development consultancy Lichfields, says that millions of pounds worth of funding is revitalising the town and its historical legacy as part of a long-term regeneration strategy, which is delivering transformative change and revealing a rich heritage.

This includes a £20 million Towns Fund grant to improve the waterfront, revitalise the historic Victoria Mills building, redevelop the well-known Kasbah area within the Port of Grimsby and establish new heritage trails for people to enjoy.

Up to 5,400 new jobs will be created and over 7,000 much needed new homes will be delivered as a result of wider investments now being made in the town, with heritage projects forming a key part of the overall regeneration strategy.

The report considers how long-term thinking and a holistic approach to regeneration are keys to the success of Grimsby, recognising that the most effective way to plan for strong and vibrant future high streets and town centres is through projects focused ‘more than ever’ on repurposing heritage assets in ambitious and creative ways to meet society’s changing needs.

Embedding heritage-led regeneration in this way harnesses investment’s potential to inspire action and promote initiatives as well as delivering more effective and sustainable regeneration results.

The report comes at a time of changing fortunes for historic towns and sheds light on the environmental, economic and social contributions that heritage-led regeneration can deliver long-term for hundreds of locations across the country.

James Fryatt, Planner and Heritage Consultant at Lichfields and the report’s lead author, said: “Heritage-led regeneration projects need to be focused more than ever on reusing assets in ambitious and creative ways to respond to people’s changing lifestyle, work and shopping habits. In the high street for instance, this will see historic buildings increasingly adapted to reflect changes in retail and growing demand for leisure activities, creative and flexible workspaces, and housing in sustainable and accessible locations.

“It’s also about bringing the history of towns to the surface, engaging communities in heritage projects and enhancing places with the aim of attracting new businesses, visitors and residents.”

Nick Bridgland, Lichfields’ heritage director, added: “This is an important report and comes at a time of rapid change for our historic towns. Heritage-led investment must be far more dynamic because it’s such a valuable tool for regeneration. The key to long-term success is to see it as part of an overarching holistic approach embedded within wider programmes of investment aimed at revitalising places that have been left behind.

“There are many positives on the horizon and our report points to a successful future for those historic towns that take advantage of the available funding and adopt a fresh approach to heritage-led regeneration work.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lichfields .

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