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Heritage Action Zone - guidance on grant funding

Guidance on grants for building works

Historic England and Great Yarmouth Borough Council are offering grants to building owners or repairing leaseholders to carry out works to buildings, including repair, reinstating lost features, supporting conversion of historic buildings for new uses and improving shared spaces.

The aim of the scheme is to revitalise historic high streets by investing in repair and restoration of vacant or under-utilised heritage assets and public realm assets.

All works must be directly related to conservation or improvements that will protect the heritage value of the building and wider Heritage Action Zone area. Eligible works include:

  • reinstatement of traditional shopfronts
  • conversion of vacant floorspace for retail or residential use
  • repair and reinstatement of architectural details and features to the façade of buildings
  • temporary building works, works to roofs and roof structures, leadworks, gutter repairs and rainwater disposal, repairs to external walls, windows and doors
  • repair or replacement of external features, damp management, and structural work to help achieve these improvements

The High Streets HAZ partnerships will make grants available to owners (or repairing leaseholders) of individual properties who want to carry out repairs or other appropriate work which will enhance the area. This funding comes from Historic England, the local authority and other sources. Grant applicants will be responsible for procuring the works to their building.

Any grant is made in the expectation that repairs, changes and improvements made to the High Street as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme will be maintained adequately after the completion of the scheme. Any disposal of the building without permission within three years of the final instalment will require repayment of the grant.

For grants of over £20,000, we require that owners use a conservation-accredited professional. For grants less than £20,000 this is encouraged but not a requirement.

To be eligible for grant funding applicants need to be the person (or authorised representative of the organisation) that has legal responsibility for the repair of the building - otherwise they don't have authority to accept the funding for the works. This could be the owner, or it could be someone who has a repairing lease that covers the period until at least March 2024. A tenant without a repairing lease would not be able to receive grant funding, although the owner and a tenant could apply jointly if the tenant doesn't have legal responsibility, in which case the tenant could be the contact with the Leading Partner and could receive the funding. Whoever receives the funding from the Leading Partner would be responsible for paying the contractor. This should be noted on the application form.

Work that we can fund

This includes:

  • building repairs
  • major repairs to the structure and external fabric of buildings contributing to the historic character of the area, such as re-roofing, window repairs, pointing or structural stabilisation
  • reinstating architectural features (including shop fronts)
  • repair and/or authentic reinstatement of distinctive features that have been lost from historic buildings and their settings, where this will benefit the appearance of the high street
  • work to bring vacant buildings or portions of buildings back into use
  • works designed to increase the area of productive floorspace on the high street, for commercial, residential or other purposes
  • conversion of buildings into alternative uses that better meet the demand of the area
  • adaptation of buildings to reflect the changing nature and role of high streets, in ways that better reflect local need (e.g. reduced retail space, increased residential use)

Work that cannot be funded

The High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme cannot normally fund the following:

  • demolitions
  • modernisation works unless integral to the conservative repair of a building
  • building services (except in exceptional circumstances where renewal is integral to conservative repair or where failure to renew or replace building services systems puts the historic fabric at risk)
  • for conversions we can fund integrated services such as plumbing or wiring, but not stand-alone works (see Appendix 1: Further guidance on types of work that can and cannot be funded)
  • conjectural reinstatement
  • free-standing maintenance and minor repairs
  • capital work started without prior consent and before a written offer of grant has been made and accepted by the individual building owner
Last modified on 23 December 2022

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