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Government’s heritage champions to visit Leicester

Published on Monday, October 3, 2016

LEICESTER’s success in improving and bringing historic buildings back into use will be showcased to national heritage experts this week.

Key regeneration and restoration projects in and around the city centre will be visited by Historic England, the government’s principal adviser of the historic environment, on Tuesday (Oct 4).

Historic England’s chairman Sir Laurie Magnus, Chief Executive Duncan Wilson and members of its governing board will be welcomed to the city by City Mayor Peter Soulsby and given an opportunity to view some of the city’s key heritage-led regeneration projects.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to welcome Historic England to Leicester and share the city’s great heritage story with them.

“Celebrating the Story of Leicester and its built-heritage is at the heart of our ambitious plans to ensure that Leicester continues to grow as a prosperous city, an attractive visitor destination and a great place to live and work.

“I am proud that, alongside the council-led regeneration of key buildings and historic areas in the city, Leicester can showcase some fine examples of important restoration projects being carried out in partnership with other key stakeholders in the city.

“The advice, support and encouragement offered by Historic England is invaluable in helping ensure we all meet our responsibility to protect, retain and enhance Leicester’s architectural heritage for future generations.”

The visitors will be given a walking tour of city centre projects including the redevelopment of Leicester Market, Leicester Cathedral, and the King Richard III Visitor Centre, which saw the transformation of a disused Victorian school building which had stood empty since 2008.

They will also have a chance to view work in the Greyfriars conservation area, including Delilah Fine Foods.  The Nottingham-based company recently opened its Leicester branch in a Grade II-listed Victorian bank building refurbished with council support through the Townscape Heritage Initiative. The building, which dates back to 1873, had previously been vacant for almost a decade.

The tour will also take in restoration and redevelopment work at the internationally-renowned Engineering Building at The University of Leicester, along with the Grade-I listed Arch of Remembrance on Victoria Park.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “We are delighted to be visiting Leicester for two days to see the city’s many positive and imaginative projects focussed on the historic environment.

“We are keen supporters of the re-discovery and celebration of Leicester’s fine heritage from Richard III to Stirling and Gowan’s iconic Engineering Building.

“Our regional team has worked closely with the city council, both universities and the Cathedral on many of the sites we will be visiting, delivering on the regenerative potential of heritage."