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Advice and Information

Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

Heritage led regeneration schemes have helped to transform parts of Dudley by strengthening the self-image of areas to recreate viable and attractive places, and encouraging sustained inward investments and levering in significant amounts of capital to sustain and create local jobs.

  • Heritage-led Regeneration

Heritage led regeneration is a very constructive method for bringing about conservation. In 2013 Historic England published ‘Heritage Works: The use of historic buildings in regeneration’.

This Historic England document sets out a strong economic case for regenerating historic buildings, and the benefits relating to not only the individual building but also to the wider area and community. The inclusion of heritage assets in regeneration schemes provides a focus and catalyst for sustainable change. 

We have been successful in obtaining external funding to support heritage led regeneration throughout Dudley. Funding has been obtained from Historic England from their Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas (PSICA), formerly known as Heritage Economic Regeneration Schemes. These schemes are run by the local authority and are designed to target funding for the preservation and enhancement of conservation areas.

A similar scheme has been provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund with their Townscape Heritage Schemes. We were successful in securing two of these schemes for Dudley Town Centre.

Additional funding has also been obtained from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (BCLEP) where funding was made available to bring vacant historic buildings back into a viable use whilst also delivering key outputs for the funder.

Examples include the Stuart Crystal, Wordsley site which received ERDF funding. 

We will continue to seek opportunities for further funding of this nature for use throughout Dudley.

National Lottery Heritage Fund is the largest single funder of heritage led regeneration in the UK. Throughout Dudley there are a number of projects that have been successful in obtaining funding. Recent projects include Mary Stevens Park, Priory Park, the Tecton Structures within Dudley Zoo, Lye & Wollescote Cemetery Chapel, Harris and Pearson Building, Glass House College, Dudley Canal Trust and Dudley Town Centre via the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). Details of the types of projects that are eligible for funding can be found on the National Lottery Heritage Fund web page. We, in collaboration with other stakeholders will continue to seek funding opportunities for heritage assets within Dudley.

Dudley Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) 2008 - 2015

The Dudley Townscape Heritage Initiative (Phase 1) commenced in November 2008 and reached completion in July 2015. The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) was a grant giving programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) now the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Its objective was to support schemes that aim to regenerate historic environments in urban areas across the United Kingdom to improve the quality of life for all those who live, work and visit there.

Funding was provided for projects which had a positive impact on the conservation and regeneration of the historic areas including:

  • Structural and external repair of historic buildings;
  • Authentic restoration of architectural features to historic buildings; and
  • Works of repair and conversion to bring back into use vacant or underused historic floorspace.

The first phase of development work was undertaken between 2009 and 2015, where a total of £4m was invested, through private and public funding, towards the repair and reuse of 17 buildings including the Old Glasshouse in Stone Square, The Crown Public House in Wolverhampton Street, the Old Co-op in High Street and Baylies Hall in Tower Street. The improvements made can be seen in the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs of some of the projects (see Townscape Heritage Display Banners, attached below).

Dudley Townscape Heritage (TH) 2017-2021

In July 2016, DMBC were awarded a grant of just under £1.2m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund through the Townscape Heritage Programme. With partnership funding from the Council, a fund of just under £1.5m has been made available for capital works and activities. Eligible works include repairs, reinstatement of architectural details and internal refurbishment to bring vacant historic floorspace back into use. Up to 14 historic buildings have been identified as priorities for repair and refurbishment and are located in the historic core of the town, to enhance the central Retail Quarter of the town and linking with earlier restorations in the Civic Quarter.

Work has so far been completed to 203/204 Wolverhampton Street (the former Merlins bar) which has been refurbished and is now occupied by MET Recruitment. A number of other projects within the TH target area will be commencing on site over the next few months and completed throughout 2020/21.

The capital works are complemented by an activities programme which aims to increase the appreciation and understanding of the historic environment.

Activities include:

  • Participation in the national Heritage Open Days which take place annually in September. Visitors have been given the opportunity to access the Council properties such as Council House, Coroner’s Court, Town Hall and we have worked with partners to open the doors to Top and Bottom Church, the Unitarian Old Meeting House in Wolverhampton Street, Baylies Hall on Tower Street, The Crown Public House in Wolverhampton Street and the Catholic Church of Our Blessed Lady and St Thomas. (Information provided for the events is attached).
  • Developing and publishing a number of trails have been developed and published in leaflet form. These include the Architectural Heritage Trail, the Geology Trail and a reprint of the Time Trail (trails attached).
  • Producing interpretation panels and display banners for display at events.
  • Establishing a volunteering programme has been established which has provided opportunities for research and for assisting in the museum service.
  • Supporting events such as the Coffin Race held during Black Country Day (2018) (see leaflet attached about the historical background to the race).
  • Annual conservation maintenance training day for owners and managers of historic buildings.
  • Working with local colleges to develop conservation skills.

For further information about the Townscape Heritage Programme, please contact Emma Pardoe on 01384 817402.

Heritage at risk

Historic England maintains an annual Register of Heritage at Risk in England, compiling this Register in association with local authorities. In the spring of each year Dudley Council carries out a survey of its heritage at risk and sends the information to Historic England. This information is then used for the compilation and the publication of the West Midland’s edition of the Register. Contained within this Register are the Grade I and Grade II* Listed Buildings, Listed Places of Worship, Scheduled Monuments, Registered Parks and Gardens and Conservation Areas considered to be at risk.

In addition to this, the Council has compiled a Register for all the Grade II listed heritage assets in the borough in order that monitoring can be undertaken on which of these are considered to be at risk.

  • Townscape Heritage Initiative Project, Economic Regeneration, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1HL
    Telephone: 01384 815538

  • Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, Please note that the offices are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays