Last chance for Historic Quarter grants

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Building owners and leaseholders in Middlesbrough’s Historic Quarter are being reminded that they may be eligible for a grant.

The funding has been made available through Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme, to help with repairs and restoration works of empty or under-utilised buildings.

Middlesbrough Council is currently supporting four building owners through the grant process, and has appointed a conservation architect to advise on proposed restorations.

The quarter – focused on the Grade II-listed railway station and extending north towards Middlehaven and south towards the town centre – became a Conservation Area in 1989.

Once the commercial centre of Middlesbrough’s trade boom in the second half of the 19th century, the Historic Quarter has suffered in recent years through lack of investment and high levels of empty properties.

Middlesbrough Council’s successful funding bid to Historic England will see almost £2 million invested into the Quarter, alongside additional third party funding.

Expressions of interest applications are still open for eligible building owners and leaseholders – for grants of up to £170,000 – that sit within the HSHAZ boundary, if they meet the criteria.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Sunday, February 28 2021 therefore the Council urges eligible building owners and leaseholders to apply sooner rather than later.

All expressions of interest received to date will be assessed after this date.

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for communities and dducation, said: “The Historic Quarter is one of Middlesbrough’s key focal points, and is the first thing many people see of the town as they arrive by train.

“It’s hugely important in terms of culture and heritage, but we need to turn the tide on decades of neglect, and breathe new life into both its Victorian splendour and its 21st Century potential.

“These grants are an amazing opportunity to be at the vanguard of that transformation.”

Maria Carballeira at Historic England, said: “By enabling the restoration and reuse of some of Middlesbrough’s finest historic buildings, this grant scheme could play a significant role in helping to breathe new life into the town’s historic quarter and aid its post-COVID recovery.”

This is one of a number of key projects that will transform Middlesbrough’s town centre over the next few years, making it a highly desirable place to live and work through improved transport, urban living developments and the creation of new jobs.

• Eligible business owners and leaseholders must read the HSHAZ Grant Policy, available online, before submitting their Expression of Interest at the earliest opportunity.

For further information and to make an application, visit middlesbrough.gov.uk/business/middlesbrough-high-street-heritage-action-zone/hshaz-property-grants.

Or if you wish to discuss a potential project, email HAZ@middlesbrough.gov.uk.