The council is consulting on the draft Willenhall Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan.
Since 2000, Walsall Council has actively sought external funding to assist in the care, enhancement and repair of its historic environment, including listed buildings and buildings within conservation areas. This work started with a partnership with English Heritage (the Walsall Conservation Area Partnership), focused on the area of Bridge Street, Leicester Street and Darwall Street, resulting in the repair of buildings such as 1-11 Bridge Street.
This type of partnership was seen to be a successful funding mechanism for the council, and so further schemes were explored, resulting in successful bids for Willenhall town centre (the Willenhall Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme), Bradford Street (the Bradford Street Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme), Darlaston (Darlaston Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme) and Bloxwich (the Bloxwich Townscape Heritage Initiative). Further bids are being submitted at present for other parts of the borough.
Due to the nature of the bids, the areas to be covered by grant-assistance are designated at the initial bid stage, together with the target buildings. These buildings are chosen on their historic merits within the context of the town-centre, and on their importance in the street-scene.
The grants awarded for buildings repairs have stringent conditions attached to them, including the materials that can be used (traditional materials such as Welsh roofing slate, lime mortars, and cast iron rainwater goods) and the quality of workmanship expected. The grants percentages are high (generally around 70 - 80% of eligible works for building repairs) to compensate for the expense that is incurred in using such materials.
However, it is our belief, and general good conservation practice, that these traditional materials are far better quality than many modern substitutes, such as Upvc, and have a far longer life span. They are also more suitable for historic buildings, and it is generally insisted that any replacements made on Listed Buildings use such materials. If you have any queries please contact us.