The Historic 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 quarter will now become the focus of a programme of improvements designed to reinvigorate the area and drive investment, after the area was chosen to receive key funding through Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone fund.

The High Street Heritage Action Zone programme (HSHAZ)

The programme will see a number of improvements made to Exchange Square and Zetland Road such as street resurfacing, new street furniture, improved street lighting and tree-lined pavements.

Work will start in autumn 2020 until 2024. Funding will also offer property improvement grants to eligible privately-owned premises, to assist with building repairs and restoration to some of the key buildings in the zone.

Many buildings that will benefit from the grants are some of the oldest in Middlesbrough and were the homes or workplaces of Middlesbrough’s former industrial pioneers. The heritage of the zone will be preserved through careful restoration work, while improving the look and feel of the area for visitors and residents.

The programme focuses on:

  • Property improvement grants to bring eligible buildings back into use
  • Upgrading Zetland Road and Exchange Square public spaces
  • Community activities where people can learn about the area’s heritage, work together and learn new skills
  • A cultural programme where local communities and cultural organisations can celebrate the area, and commission artists/creatives to make it a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place

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.”

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