COVENTRY has been named one of ten Heritage Action Zones in England in the hopes of breathing life into the city’s history.
The scheme, established by Historic England, will hope to unlock the potential of the city’s rich history in becoming a symbol of sustainable economic development and community life.
Research has shown that historic places play a fundamental role in economic and social wellbeing, and with Coventry’s medieval centre and post-war architecture that rose from the ashes of the 1940 Blitz it is hoped the scheme will help bring it to life.
Louisa Moore, principal adviser in Historic England’s West Midlands Historic Places Team said: “Heritage Action Zones aim to breathe new life into historic places.
“Coventry’s fascinating story can be used to encourage further regeneration and growth, and Historic England is keen to play our part in helping that happen.”
Historic England will work alongside The Coventry Heritage Action Zone partnership to develop the detail of a package of research, grant aid, local community engagement and support before a Heritage Action Zone agreement is signed by April 2017.
The Coventry Heritage Action Zone partnership includes Historic England, Coventry City Council, Historic Coventry Trust, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry University and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Coun Linda Bigham, Coventry council’s cabinet member for community development, said Coventry’s history had a ‘critical role’ to play in the future of the city and that she hoped the initiative will make people more aware of what is on their doorstep.
Coventry’s naming as a Heritage Action Zone follows a highly competitive selection process.
Welcoming the news Ian Harrabin, chairman of Historic Coventry Trust said: “The huge potential that Coventry’s heritage – spanning 1,000 years – offers to the economic success of the city has been overlooked in the past.
“It is great that Historic England sees the huge potential and is supporting our mission.”
Visit www.historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/ to find out more about Heritage Action Zones.