JQDT gets green light on Townscape Heritage Initiative

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Birmingham’s largest business improvement district has this week been successful in the first round of a potential award of a staggering £2 million Townscape Heritage Grant, which assists communities in the regeneration of conservation areas.

The grant, which will be awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, could see a total of 16 listed buildings benefit from much-needed renovation and the repairing of lost features which will ensure their heritage is maintained.

An award of £36,000 in development funding has been secured to work up the application that will potentially access a further £1.9 million under the Town Heritage Initiative.

The Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), who applied for the funding, will be working with partners in the community including Birmingham City Council and English Heritage over the next five years to access the £2 million if approved, and to then bring in further funding to the area around Vittoria Street, Frederick Street, Albion Street and Legge Lane.

David Mahony, chair of the JQDT, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. It is a tremendous boon for the Trust that after only two years this national body has shown confidence in what we have and plan to achieve that they have awarded us an initial £36,000 to explore further developing the area.

“It is exciting times for the Jewellery Quarter not only with HLF funding but also the Golden Square and other projects from the Trust. Our mission is to make the Quarter an area to live, learn, work and visit and it is only with investments such as this that we will be able to accomplish this.”

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is good news and a positive first step. A lot of hard work has gone into this application and I’m confident the Trust will be successful. To be awarded this grant would be hugely beneficial for the renovation and repair of some of the city’s historic buildings. It is crucial that heritage is retained in our city as it has a bearing on the area, economy and how people feel about it.”

Tim Johnston, planning and conservation director for English Heritage in the West Midlands, said: “English Heritage is thrilled that the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust has been awarded a first-round pass, demonstrating the commitment and hard work of all those involved. The Jewellery Quarter is a special historic place with the conservation and repair of its unique stock of historic buildings a very high priority for English Heritage. We look forward to carrying on working with the Trust on developing and delivering the Townscape Heritage scheme for this hugely significant area.”

Reyahn King, head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “The Jewellery Quarter is a unique and distinctive city environment. Not only does it reflect two and a half centuries of fine craftsmanship and manufacturing history but it still functions as a thriving business centre. By awarding our initial support and some immediate development funding, plans to reinvigorate the area can begin in earnest, underpinning the unique heritage of the Quarter and providing support to the local economy.”