Dudley Council
Dudley Skyline

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.

Dudley Townscape Heritage (TH) 2017-2022

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.
  • Working with Dudley People’s Archive, Fused and CoLab on the ‘Growing up in Dudley’ Project.  
  • Working with the Learning and Access Team of Dudley Museum Service on Teaching packs.

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

Dudley Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) - 2008 to 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).

As part of this programme, the Dudley Architectural Heritage Trail was published which provides a self-guided tour around 40 heritage assets within the town and funding was provided towards the Shopfront and Advertisement SPD.