City Buildings Handed over to Historic Trust; Set to 'Kick-Start 5 Year PS30m Restoration Programme'

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), December 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

City Buildings Handed over to Historic Trust; Set to 'Kick-Start 5 Year PS30m Restoration Programme'


Byline: ENDA MULLEN News Reporter enda.mullen@trinitymirror.com

COVENTRY City Council has handed over the ownership of more than 25 historic buildings and sites in a deal believed to be one of the largest transfers of such assets ever in the UK.

The move to transfer 22 properties and five adjoining sites - ranging from two Grade I listed 14th-century monasteries to a row of 19th-century shops - has been sanctioned by the city council's cabinet.

The properties, which include the Charterhouse Heritage Park, Whitefriars Monastery and a row of shops in the Burges, have been transferred to community heritage organisation the Historic Coventry Trust.

While the move raises concerns over the council giving up some of the jewels in the city's crown, the move has been welcomed by Historic England, which said it will kick-start a five-year PS30m restoration and regeneration programme.

That will see the buildings repaired and found new, sustainable re-uses - with many of them receiving funding from Historic England through the Coventry Heritage Action Zone project.

The council says the transfer will not take place until funding for restoration has been secured.

Ian Morrison, director of planning at Historic England said: "This is one of the largest and most ambitious transfers of local authority heritage assets to date in England, and reflects a growing acceptance by many councils that charities can often provide the funding and energy these buildings need. We believe that the business approach taken by the council and Historic Coventry Trust is unique and should be celebrated."

Historic England also said the transfer is an example of what the organisation has been promoting through its guidance on heritage asset transfer - Pillars of the Community.

Through the Coventry Heritage Action Zone project, supported by Historic England, many of these buildings will receive funding for projects that will generate new uses, such as holiday lets, visitor attractions, shops and homes above businesses. …

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