Breathing new life into Middlesbrough’s Historic Quarter

rob_fmttm

Administrator
Some good news unveiled today - an action plan unveiled to revive the historic Victorian quarter around Middlesbrough Station. It has been as a result of a lot of hard work over a long period, cutting across different mayors and presiding councils. Dr Tosh Warwick is now Chair of Middlesbrough's High Street Heritage Action Zone Community Steering Group.

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The Middlesbrough Council-led project will bring new life to Middlesbrough’s heritage and allow the community to learn more about our past and benefit from regeneration in the heart of the town.
More: https://www.heritageunlocked.com/news/historic-england-haz
 

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rob_fmttm

Administrator
Who on earth thought an elevated dual carriageway ploughing straight through the town centre was a good idea.
It was commissioned by Cleveland County Council to revive the declining industrial zone south of the Tees. The original route went through St Hilda's but was re-routed through an area of Victoriana that was largely empty, deteriorating and apparently in terminal decline. Nearly all the buildings were in dreadful condition at the time as the commercial heart of the town had moved south away from the station.
And that is why I am posting about Save Our Steel Heritage - no one was out on the streets shouting against the A66 at the time. In fact you could have bought the Royal Exchange for a fiver. A student produced an essay on converting it into an Arts Centre that plan was shelved literally onto the Uni library. We need action now or face a generation that will be filled with annoyance and regret.
But here we can see Middlesbrough Council producing a plan to revive this area and celebrate the remaining core of Victorian buildings of Ironopolis.
 

rob_fmttm

Administrator
A major funding boost is set to breathe new life into Middlesbrough's Historic Quarter.
Grants will be up for grabs to help with repairs and restoration works to businesses and other premises.
The quarter was designated a Conservation Area in 1989 and centres around the Grade II-listed railway station, extending north towards Middlehaven and south towards the town centre.
The area is now set to benefit from a key funding injection through Historic England's High Street Heritage Action Zone fund.

Middlesbrough Council's successful bid was chosen from more than 200 expressions of interest from across England.
High Street Heritage Action Zone status will see the Historic Quarter become the focus of a programme of improvements designed to reinvigorate the area and drive investment.
The programme is funded by Historic England (£985,880), Middlesbrough Council (£1 million) and will leverage third party funding.
Kicking off immediately and running until 2024, it will offer property improvement grants to eligible privately-owned premises, to assist with building repairs and restoration.
It will also provide enhancements to Exchange Square and Zetland Road, such as upgrades to hard surfacing, new street furniture, improved street lighting and the introduction of new trees.
A range of community and cultural activities will reanimate the area and increase footfall.
Once the commercial centre of Middlesbrough's trade boom in the second half of the 19th century, the Historic Quarter has suffered in recent years through lack of investment and high levels of empty properties.
The programme of improvements has been designed to stimulate investment and make the area a more engaging and vibrant place to be.
Heritage Unlocked founder Dr Tosh Warwick, who chairs the HAZ Community Steering Group, said: "The Historic England Heritage Action Zone will bring new life to an important part of Middlesbrough's heritage.
"By reinvigorating the Historic Quarter all parts of the community can discover, engage with and enjoy our town's heritage, learn more about our past and benefit from regeneration at the heart of our town."
Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "The Historic Quarter is the main thoroughfare between the town centre and the train station, and is often the first thing people see when visiting our town.

"The area has huge potential, but it needs significant investment to revitalise the listed Victorian buildings and make them fit for modern purposes.
"The funding through Historic England allows us to assist building owners to deliver much-needed improvements, as well as enhancing surrounding public areas to create a place where people will want to visit and work in."

For more information, visit: https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/business/middlesbrough-high-street-heritage-action-zone
 

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DCI_Gene_Hunt

Well-known member
Sorry to be a cynic Rob but grants to privately owned building to restore them? I'm sure the owners will appreciate someone else maintaining their properties.

£1m of council money to give us "upgrades to hard surfacing, new street furniture, improved street lighting and the introduction of new trees. A range of community and cultural activities will reanimate the area and increase footfall. "

Why will any of this increase footfall and bring people into the area? Where is the council managing to find a £1m for this?

"The funding through Historic England allows us to assist building owners to deliver much-needed improvements, as well as enhancing surrounding public areas to create a place where people will want to visit and work in."

Help me out, why will people want to visit? To see a few new trees? Will the scheme be creating any new permanent jobs?

At the same time the town centre is dying, nothing of any worth to bring people into the town. No decent shops, no decent nightlife, a Uni that is just spreading and spreading gobbling buildings up left right and centre whilst great chunks of the town centre is just a bomb site where houses have been demolished. Linthorpe Road is just a mass of takeways and resembles the wild west on a night as cars park anywhere, taxi drivers just stop where ever they want, feral young kids ride up and down on bikes oblivious to any element of road sense.

We are yet to see the long term effect Coronavirus will have on the town as business' close down once furlough ends.

And yes I know a lot of the problems facing Middlesbrough are common to many towns and cities but I've never walked through any town centre recently and felt as uncomfortable as I do walking down Linthorpe Road at night.
 

HarryVegas

Well-known member
I can understand people doubting new initiatives but it has to start somewhere. The town desperately needs new investment and any attempts to begin should be applauded. 7/8 years ago when the council up here announced they were going to reinvigorate the Spanish City and the seafront areas, the locals were uber-sceptical but now it's done and a fabulous day out.

I hope the work begins asap but is only the start.
 

TheFair86

Well-known member
That end of town used to be great for
Nightlife with it being the epicentre of the towns bars and nightclubs then in the space of a few years loads of them closed down or moved and now there is little reason to go down there.
 

r00fie1

Well-known member
A major funding boost is set to breathe new life into Middlesbrough's Historic Quarter.
Grants will be up for grabs to help with repairs and restoration works to businesses and other premises.
The quarter was designated a Conservation Area in 1989 and centres around the Grade II-listed railway station, extending north towards Middlehaven and south towards the town centre.
The area is now set to benefit from a key funding injection through Historic England's High Street Heritage Action Zone fund.

Middlesbrough Council's successful bid was chosen from more than 200 expressions of interest from across England.
High Street Heritage Action Zone status will see the Historic Quarter become the focus of a programme of improvements designed to reinvigorate the area and drive investment.
The programme is funded by Historic England (£985,880), Middlesbrough Council (£1 million) and will leverage third party funding.
Kicking off immediately and running until 2024, it will offer property improvement grants to eligible privately-owned premises, to assist with building repairs and restoration.
It will also provide enhancements to Exchange Square and Zetland Road, such as upgrades to hard surfacing, new street furniture, improved street lighting and the introduction of new trees.
A range of community and cultural activities will reanimate the area and increase footfall.
Once the commercial centre of Middlesbrough's trade boom in the second half of the 19th century, the Historic Quarter has suffered in recent years through lack of investment and high levels of empty properties.
The programme of improvements has been designed to stimulate investment and make the area a more engaging and vibrant place to be.
Heritage Unlocked founder Dr Tosh Warwick, who chairs the HAZ Community Steering Group, said: "The Historic England Heritage Action Zone will bring new life to an important part of Middlesbrough's heritage.
"By reinvigorating the Historic Quarter all parts of the community can discover, engage with and enjoy our town's heritage, learn more about our past and benefit from regeneration at the heart of our town."
Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "The Historic Quarter is the main thoroughfare between the town centre and the train station, and is often the first thing people see when visiting our town.

"The area has huge potential, but it needs significant investment to revitalise the listed Victorian buildings and make them fit for modern purposes.
"The funding through Historic England allows us to assist building owners to deliver much-needed improvements, as well as enhancing surrounding public areas to create a place where people will want to visit and work in."

For more information, visit: https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/business/middlesbrough-high-street-heritage-action-zone
I think its long overdue.
St Hildas and the area from Corporation Rd to the Albert Bridge has been in decline for many years.
The A66 needs to be remodelled so all cross - town traffic heads south along the A172 - with a new interchange where the A66 joins from the West forks off north of West Terrace and Boro Road.
Disecting the town in two has made everywhere around it a no-go area.
It hasnt helped local business.
The units underneath the viaduct have never been fully occupied.
There are plenty of examples in England, where disasters like the A66 have been reversed by careful and considered planning.
There are always screams from those who cant see beyond their noses, but if people need encouragement to go into town, they need a clean and inviting environment to go to.
I remember all the who-har about pedestrianising parts of Middlesbrough town centre - because you werent allowed to clog the roads with cars, the town centre was dead!
I hope this new project works out.
Its probably not the best economic environment, but its a start.
 

NorthumberlandBoro

Well-known member
I can understand people doubting new initiatives but it has to start somewhere. The town desperately needs new investment and any attempts to begin should be applauded. 7/8 years ago when the council up here announced they were going to reinvigorate the Spanish City and the seafront areas, the locals were uber-sceptical but now it's done and a fabulous day out.

I hope the work begins asap but is only the start.
Just been there today.
Very nice now and 25% off food in September.
 

Simply red

Well-known member
Not too late to re route the A66 fly over through the heart of the town . Stupid short sighted vision to run it through the centre .
Run the A66 along the riverside road that is hardly used and bring it back out at the stadium . Minor detour . Then develope the area under the flyover .
And , the buildings could and should had been saved .
The Royal Exchange and the Scietific institution being prime examples , the later to become a car park . Makes my blood boil .
 

BlindBoyGrunt

Well-known member
Not too late to re route the A66 fly over through the heart of the town . Stupid short sighted vision to run it through the centre .
Run the A66 along the riverside road that is hardly used and bring it back out at the stadium . Minor detour . Then develope the area under the flyover .
And , the buildings could and should had been saved .
The Royal Exchange and the Scietific institution being prime examples , the later to become a car park . Makes my blood boil .
I believe that the original route for the A66 was through Riverside Park but they decided to take a shorter route instead. Imagine if they took your detour then used the flyover as a garden bridge with two lanes of trams as part of a light rail network.
 

Redwurzel

Well-known member
ICI and British Steel wanted a nice road for their large lorries to and from Wilton and Redcar. They employed half of Teesside in the 1970s and everyone thought they would be around in a similar form for the next 50 years at least. In the late 1970s Cleveland Bridge works also had a large site (where the Navigation is now) and Middlesbrough Dock was still open so room for limited for a new A66.

I agree the A66 should have ran more along the River Tees and the Royal Exchange saved, but in 1980 no one was willing to invest in it. I remember it been busy when it was a bus terminus for Corporation buses, but by 1980 it was very quiet. It still had a cellar bar which was open early evening when other places were closed. It would have possibly made good student accommodation as it was close to the Train Station, but no one believed the Polytechnic would be as big as it is now. In 1980 the centre of the Town was the Cleveland Centre. Over the Border was then the Land that Time Forgot. It stayed that way until the Riverside Stadium was built.
 
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