Plan to invest in Fleetwood Conservation Area begins
Wyre Council says the inclusion of Fleetwood Town Centre Conservation Area on the National Heritage at Risk Register (published by Historic England today, 26.10.17) will help to secure a future for the place and a number of its historic buildings.
Fleetwood Conservation area is highlighted
Conservation Areas are areas that are preserved or enhanced due to the special architectural or historical interest and character they possess. The emphasis for Conservation Areas is on ensuring local character is strengthened, and not diminished, by change.
Conservation Areas are provided for by the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Area) Act 1990.
Heritage at Risk Register
The Heritage at Risk Register records the overall condition and status of England’s heritage by tracking those buildings, structures, monuments, landscapes and historic places most at risk.
This status will help to raise the town’s profile and make it eligible for assistance from Historic England who dedicate time and resources to help remove buildings and areas from the Register. Wyre Council will now get access to specialist advice and will be able to bid for pots of potential funding to improve the area.
Repairs and work to enhance the local area will include revitalising and improving shop fronts, improving streets, squares and open spaces, and finding new uses for vacant buildings.
Heritage Action Zone
Consideration is also being given to applying for Fleetwood to become a ‘Heritage Action Zone’ in 2018.
This programme, run by Historic England, aims to help places that are rich in heritage to be revitalised, benefitting local residents and business owners.
Councillor Pete Murphy, Portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development said:
“We are working closely with Historic England to realise the benefits that the ‘at risk’ status can bring. Through our work with partners we have been able to provide significant investment in sites across Fleetwood, putting heritage at the heart of regeneration in the area. Now being added to the Register is about doing everything we can to further protect and preserve our heritage assets.
“Historic England has been supportive of our efforts throughout this process and their assistance will be invaluable. They understand the challenges facing historic buildings better than anyone and have an excellent track record of helping proactive partners to tackle them. This allows us to start accessing potential new specialist advice and gives us the status required for certain funding sources which would otherwise likely be out of reach.
“Through past and continued funding from Wyre Council in assets like Fleetwood Market, The Mount and Marine Hall we have demonstrated our commitment to protecting the heritage of Fleetwood – these fine structures are snapshots in the timeline of our history. We are keen to work with Historic England and private sector partners to explore all opportunities for further investment.”
Darren Ratcliffe, Historic Places Adviser at Historic England in the North West, said:
“Fleetwood’s historic and architectural significance derives from it being one of only a handful of purposefully planned settlements in the North West. The area has strong associations with eminent Victorian engineers, including Decimus Burton who laid out the town based on a radiating pattern of streets emanating from the Mount. The plans were complete by 1835, and construction of the first buildings and the railway line began in 1836.
“Across the North West there are 65 conservation areas considered to be ‘at risk’ and so Fleetwood is not alone. Fleetwood has been placed on the Register in recognition of the areas conservation needs. Heritage led regeneration is an acknowledged way of unlocking an area’s potential for growth and investment.”