Black Country councils win funding for protection of heritage assets

A Black Country local heritage site - a tall brick chimney and building next to the tow path of a canal with trees on the other side of the canal and blue sky in the background.Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall councils joined forces to secure funding to develop local heritage lists.

Under a national campaign to encourage a county-wide approach to developing or improving local heritage lists, the government’s initial funding pot of £700,000 has now increased to £1.5m. The funding comes from the government’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The funding secured by the joint Black Country councils’ successful bid will be used to improve, update and extend lists of important local heritage assets across the region.

These lists help local authorities to formally identify sites that have extra significance in their areas. This significance can then be taken into account in planning applications affecting the building, site or setting in question.

The lists will also support Historic Environment Policies in the developing Black Country Plan. A set of standard criteria will be developed for local listing across all four authorities, ensuring consistency across the region.

Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall already have local lists, but the new funding will enable them to be updated in accordance with guidance recently published by Historic England and in recognition of the Black County becoming a UNESCO Global Geopark.

The councils will be working together along with with local societies, amenity groups, and national historical organisations to update existing information and develop enhanced lists. The project will also provide an opportunity for local people to put forward sites they feel should be included on the lists, as well as new ways in which the public can view them.

The Black Country is one of 22 areas in England to have made a successful bid.

To find out more about the local heritage list campaign and discover the other successful areas visit the government website.