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Dudley Council
Dudley Skyline

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

The Townscape Heritage (TH) programme is funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) which offers grant assistance to carry out repair, reinstatement and refurbishment works to historic buildings, as well as a programme of complementary education and community engagement activities within the Dudley Town Centre Conservation Area. The project has been delivered in two phases, with Phase 1 (TH1) being delivered between 2008-2015 and Phase 2 (TH2) being delivered between 2017-2022.

Eligible works include repairs, reinstatement of architectural details and internal refurbishment to bring vacant historic floorspace back into use.

Dudley Townscape Heritage (TH) 2017-2022

The Phase 2 TH programme (TH2), operating with a grant budget of £1.178m from the NLHF and £300,000 match funding from the Council, commenced in February 2017. Nine 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 the public realm improvements made in the Marketplace and with the Phase 1 TH1 Programme.

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 and at 216 Wolverhampton Street, occupied by Bonham & Butler Opticians. Other projects in the process of being delivered include Plaza Malls, Fountain Arcade (Market end), 14 New Street, 204a, 207, 208 and 209 Wolverhampton Street.

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. In 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual tours were created for a number of the town centre buildings along with a series of downloadable leaflets about the buildings, please see below.
  • Developing and publishing a number of trails in order to provide the public with the opportunity to do self-guided trails in the town centre. These include the Dudley Architectural Heritage Trail, the Dudley Geological Heritage Trail and a reprint of the Dudley Time Trail. You can view these in the attachments further down this page.
  • 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).
  • A conservation maintenance training day for owners and managers of historic buildings.
  • Working with local colleges to develop conservation skills.
  • Commissioning a Blue Plaque for Percy Shakespeare, which has been installed on the former Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, originally the home of the Dudley School of Art and Free Library where Percy Shakespeare was an Art student in the 1920s.
  • Working with Dudley People’s Archive, Fused and CoLab on the ‘Growing up in Dudley’ Project. Through the project, a wealth of images, oral histories and artwork inspired by people's experiences and memories of Dudley have been gathered and shared.
  • Working with the Learning and Access Team of Dudley Museum Service on the creation of Teaching packs focused on Dudley Town Centre. These can be accessed at the following links:
  • Working with the musician Dan Whitehouse on the Dudley Days project, which held workshops with a small group of participants to create music inspired by connections with Dudley. Footage and recordings from the workshops can be found in a compilation of 15 YouTube videos.
  • Working with City ID to produce a print map for Dudley Town Centre, highlighting its heritage, which has been distributed in various service stations, supermarkets and visitor attractions across the region. A web version of the map is included in the attachments further down the page.
  • A four page insert about the programme has been included in the autumn 2021 edition of the Dudley Home Magazine, scroll to 10-13 to read about TH2.

Dudley Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) - 2008 to 2015

The Phase 1 TH programme (TH2), operated with a grant budget of £1,955,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) now the NLHF and £673,872 of partnership funding from English Heritage (now Historic England), Housing Community Agency, Dudley Council and New Heritage Regeneration (NHR). The programme commenced in November 2008 and reached completion in July 2015.

TH1 achieved a total of £4m of investment, 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, Charlton House in New Street, 210 Wolverhampton Street, the Former Albion Pub at 15 Stone Street, Priory House in Priory Road and Fountain Arcade 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, in the attachments section further down the page).

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.

Guidance Notes for Applicants

Self-Guided Trails around Dudley Town Centre

Display Banners

Interpretation Panels

Heritage Open Day Building Leaflets

Growing up in Dudley

Map of Dudley