By Louise Drewery on 20 March 2017
Hull’s Old Town has been named as one of ten national locations that will become a Heritage Action Zone and receive more than half a million pounds in funding. The title comes from Historic England who have pledged £6m nationally to help bring economic growth and unlock the potential in areas of rich heritage.
Hull’s success comes following an application from Hull City Council to have the area recognised and to assist with raising the profile of this historic part of the city.
Hull Old Town has been inhabited for more than 700 years, is home to 40 per cent of the city’s listed buildings, the last remaining medieval street pattern and nationally significant heritage and archaeology - but the area is in need of investment and development. It is hoped this accolade will spark interest once again.
As part of the five year project, Historic England will provide support and funding to help bring neglected buildings back into use, improve areas to kick-start regeneration and develop visitor attractions.
Councillor Martin Mancey, Lead Member for the Old Town said:
“I am delighted that Hull has been named as a Heritage Action Zone and know it will do a wonderful job of highlighting the Old Town and giving it the platform it deserves.
“There are so many gems within this destination and is a real draw for tourists, so we want to ensure it is really showcased as its best.
“Following the recent transformation of Trinity Square, Trinity House Lane and Whitefriagate, and imminent completion of Beverley Gate as part of the £25m public realm project, it is incredibly important that we capitalise on the city’s new lease of life and work hard to ensure the Old Town is recognised properly.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Historic England, existing Old Town businesses and potential new investors over the coming years and see the spaces reconnect with the rest of the city centre and newly renovated Fruit Market and Marina.”
Trevor Mitchell, Historic England Planning Director for Yorkshire, said:
“The rich history of Hull can be told in just a small area of the city – the Old Town – with its attractive public spaces, stunning old buildings and museums. For hundreds of years it was the busy heart of the city. Change is happening in the Old Town but some parts are still under used. It has probably never been as quiet.
"We are keen to work with the council to increase the awareness of what the Old Town has to offer and to make it easy for developers to bring jobs, homes and visitors here.”
Work will now begin in the area with a five-year delivery plan that includes the de-risking of key historic buildings, refurbishment of frontages, work to increase the tourism offer and a longer term project to turn the South Blockhouse close to The Deep into a new visitor attraction.