Organisation praises city’s work

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WORK carried out in Sheffield to protect and revitalise historic conservation areas has earned praise from English Heritage.

The organisation has highlighted the city’s efforts as an example to other areas in its new publication – Valuing Places: Good Practice in Conservation Areas.

Sheffield has earned plaudits for arresting decades of decline by “sensitively revitalising its city centre” with landmark projects like the Winter Garden and Millennium Galleries.

English Heritage remarked on how many projects, although bold in style, utilised local materials such as steel and stone, re-enforcing Sheffield’s distinctive character. The one-kilometre ‘Gold Route’ linking the railway station with the city’s retail heart crosses two conservation areas, connecting many listed buildings.

High quality craftsmanship, simple detailing, drawing design inspiration from conservation areas, and having a clear vision are all singled out as part of Sheffield’s success.

Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage Regional Director, said: “The report aims to inspire councils, civic societies and community groups to replicate the methods and success achieved by others, as highlighted in a series of powerful case studies like Sheffield.

“Conservation areas offer a golden opportunity for people to take heritage into their own hands and to decide what they value and how they want to protect and enhance it. These are places where people live, work and play – whether or not they are well cared for has a huge effect on our quality of life.”

The report follows the publication of English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk Register last July which revealed 10 per cent of conservation areas in Yorkshire and the Humber are threatened by neglect, decline or inappropriate change.

The most recent figures also suggest around 70 per cent of the region’s conservation areas do not have an up-to-date character appraisal – an essential step in developing management plans.