Derby Townscape Heritage Initiative Project

©Derby City Council/Vicky Seddon
©Derby City Council/Vicky Seddon

Region: East Midlands

Unitary Authority: Derby

Owner Type: Many

Funding Body: Heritage Lottery Fund; Derby City Council; European Regional Development Fund

Year of Intervention: 2002 - 2004

Summary: Conservation Led Regeneration Through the Derby Townscape Heritage Initiative Project (THI), funded by a partnership of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Derby City Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Description: The Derby Townscape Heritage Initiative Project (2002-2004) is an historic regeneration grants scheme funded by a partnership of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Derby City Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Issue: The scheme began in March 2002 with a total pot of £1.5 million, which was targeted against the repair and reuse of a number of priority buildings and towards environmental improvements to the public realm within a specific area in Derby City.
Strategy: The targeted buildings were chosen because of their visual importance to the historic character of the area, and although not necessarily listed, needed to be of key townscape importance. All were in a poor state of repair and were often vacant, or with vacant upper floors. Many had also lost key elements of their original architectural detailing, including sash windows and shopfronts. Through setting high levels of grant aid, the THI Project has sought to bring these buildings back into good repair and full use as a means of kick-starting regeneration in the City. The project has ensured that all work done to these building is of a high conservation specification and standard, and that any changes of use are sympathetic to the character of the building. The photos (above) are of a building at Sadlers Gate after repairs (left) and during repairs at Friars Gate (right).
Outcome: This case study is a very real example of Conservation Led Regeneration, and the effects of this work are really starting to be seen within the historic core of Derby. Attitudes - and regeneration - in Derby do seem to be moving towards a better understanding of the benefits that are brought by good quality townscape. The positive changes in the City Centre are further enhanced by the extensive public realm works being undertaken by the City Council, which are also grant aided by the THI scheme. This has seen the reinstatement of quality natural stone paving back into key areas of the historic core of the city, replacing inappropriate modern materials such as tarmac and concrete.

Keywords: Grants, Regeneration, Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration

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