The use of historical buildings in regeneration
This is the second edition of Heritage Works. While the principles and key messages of the original Heritage Works (published in 2006) remain, there have been fundamental shifts in the property market and the wider economy.
This new edition has been edited to reflect some of the change that has occurred and to help all those involved to deliver successful heritage-led regeneration schemes in what is a challenging environment.
Our built heritage represents the very best of our past. It also provides a huge resource that can play an important role in the future of our towns, cities and rural areas in terms of the stimulus provided to regeneration and the promotion of sustainable development. Evidence from across the country demonstrates that ‘Heritage Works’ and is a valuable asset that has an important role to play as a catalyst for regeneration.
What are the positive qualities and benefits that heritage assets can add to a regeneration scheme? Clearly, this will depend on the nature of the properties involved, but all or some of the following may apply:
- Historic buildings create a focal point that people can relate to and are familiar with – giving a sense of place.
- They may be well loved local landmarks which the community identify with and will rally around to support or save.
- The fabric and design can add a distinctive identity to the new build part of a regeneration scheme – enhancing townscape and lifting the overall quality of the built environment.
- They may have interesting historical and cultural associations which can be interpreted and developed through the wider regeneration area.
- They can assist in achieving sustainable development objectives.
- They may attract tenants/occupiers who would not be interested in a less distinctive building.
- They feed people’s interest in the past.