The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is a grant giving programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Its objective is to support schemes that aim to regenerate historic environments in urban areas across the United Kingdom. Through THI schemes, grant is offered to help communities regenerate these areas by encouraging partnerships to carry out repairs and other works to historic properties to improve the quality of life for all those who live, work and visit there.
During a process which began in May 2005, Dudley MBC lodged a two stage bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This was successful and £1.95 million was confirmed. Match funding has subsequently been secured from other sources including English Heritage, Housing and Communities Agency and the Advantage West Midlands. Including funding from the Council, a common fund of approximately £2.7 million has been made available for grant-aiding projects within the town centre. A number of projects have now been completed, including The Crown Public House in Wolverhampton Street, Baylies Hall in Tower Street, 168 High Street, 22 Stone Street, Charlton House in New Street, Bogart's Hair & Beauty in Wolverhampton Street, Elizabeth House and Holloway Hall & Chambers in Priory Street with several more underway. The funding is now fully committed with the final projects to be offered and completed in 2015.
The THI programme funds various works which will have a positive impact on the conservation and regeneration of historic areas including:
Structural and external repair of historic buildings
Authentic restoration of architectural features to historic buildings
Works of repair and conversion to bring back into use vacant or underused historic floorspace
Also part of the eligible THI projects are activities designed to widen knowledge, understanding and awareness of the heritage
The overarching objective is to increase the economic activity in the town’s commercial core by using the historic environment as a positive resource to safeguard and create employment opportunities while improving the quality of life for the local community and visitors.
The THI scheme covers the whole of the Dudley Town Centre Conservation Area. A principal aim of the THI is to target significant resources into areas that are complementary to the Opportunity Sites identified in the Dudley Area Development Framework that was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance in December 2005. The THI therefore operates as part of an integrated approach to the regeneration activities taking place in the town centre.
If you would like to find out more about the scheme, an introductory leaflet and guidance notes can be downloaded below. For further information, please contact us as below.