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Fishing heritage and ceramics preserved in new action zones

The Kasbah, Grimsby Docks

The government has announced the second wave of the heritage action zone programme, which aims to revive historic places across Britain.

The arts minister, John Glen, revealed the eight new locations to have been awarded heritage action zone status this week, which are concentrated around the north of England and the Midlands.

The new heritage action zones include Bishop Auckland in the north-east of England, Grimsby and Walworth in London.

The first wave of the programme was announced earlier this year and work is already underway in ten zones across England.

In each zone, Historic England will work with local authorities to bring listed buildings back into use as housing, retail or community spaces.

In the case of Bishop Auckland, the heritage action zone will aim to bring neglected buildings back into use and transform Auckland Castle into a ‘faith, art and heritage destination’.

In Grimsby, the zone will cover the Kasbah area, which was built in Victorian times and contains the largest collection of fishing-related buildings in the country, which is in poor condition following the industry’s decline.

Historic England will work with North East Lincolnshire council to conserve the town’s fishing heritage.

The council has also recently designated Kasbah as a conservation area, with support from owners, Associated British Ports.

And in Walworth, the zone aims to rediscover and celebrate the area as a ‘historic urban village’ with public realm improvements and support for the local community.

The other zones in the second wave are Stockton and Darlington railway, Dewsbury ‘living market town’, Rochdale town centre, Stoke-on-Trent ceramic and the North Lowestoft heritage quarter.

‘Our heritage not only tells the story of our past, it creates great places to live, work and visit,’ said Mr Glen.

‘The heritage action zone scheme is designed to make the most out of the historic environment to kick-start regeneration, increase tourism and boost investment in our towns and cities.

The chief executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, added: ‘Research shows that local history and heritage give people joy and create a sense of pride.

‘Through the heritage action zone scheme we want as many people as possible to feel good about the places where they live and work, and to use heritage as a catalyst to help interesting and beautiful towns and cities across England to thrive.’

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