Wirral to press for special heritage funding to restore historic buildings

Wirral Globe: Birkenhead Town Hall Birkenhead Town Hall

WIRRAL is now in a position to press for special funding to restore its historic buildings following completion of a heritage strategy.

The strategy is a key element in attracting English Heritage and National Lottery funding for renovation work.

Its absence was recognised as a stumbling block in the bid to secure lottery cash to help maintain the fabric of some of Wirral’s important ancient buildings.

The peninsula’s heritage champion Cllr Jerry Williams said: “The big issue with heritage is that we haven’t been getting enough funding.

“This is why the council has been passionate about getting its heritage strategy together as a precursor for possible funding applications.

“So much work has been put in through the Heritage Association – an umbrella organisation for 70-odd groups in Wirral – and Wirral Council to make sure we fulfil the criteria needed to put in for funding.

“We now have that criteria in place and we hope we will be in the front line for a lot of funding, bearing in mind the extensive heritage we have.”

He added: “Wirral has had a very poor deal from lottery funding. The district is not getting a fair amount of funding in relation to its large proportion of massively important buildings.”

Conservation overlords English Heritage has expanded its “Building at Risk” register to include lesser-known buildings and complexes across Merseyside that need help.

The list includes Flaybrick Memorial Gardens in Bidston. Conservationists have their own list of candidates for restoration work including Fort Perch Rock at New Brighton, the clock tower at Bebington Civic Centre, Birkenhead town hall and the medieval hall in Little Storeton Village.

Harry Owen-John, EH North West planning and conservation director, said: “Grade II buildings are the bulk of our heritage treasury. When one of them is lost it’s as if someone has rubbed out a bit of the past.

“We need help and are prepared to fund nine to 15 pilot surveys around the country with local authorities, national parks, heritage and community groups as partners.

“The results will help all parties involved – including the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant-givers to get rescues under way where nothing has happened for years.”

Councillor Williams said: “We are confident that we are now in a position to move forward in difficult circumstances – Wirral Council is about to lose a third of its funding.

“The council is looking at this as a matter of high priority .Things need to be done quickly if we are to secure funding from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Comments (6)

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4:14pm Mon 15 Oct 12

uncatom says...

Wow what about Ingleborough Memorial Field,it would be nice to have something done for the forthcoming centenary remembering the start of the Great War what an opportunity.
Wow what about Ingleborough Memorial Field,it would be nice to have something done for the forthcoming centenary remembering the start of the Great War what an opportunity. uncatom
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Mon 15 Oct 12

bigfoot says...

Is this in memory of Liscard Hall and the other fine buildings that have been victim of the Council's terminal inertia?
Have they now realised that they have a responsibility to future generations,when there is hardly anything left?
Is this in memory of Liscard Hall and the other fine buildings that have been victim of the Council's terminal inertia? Have they now realised that they have a responsibility to future generations,when there is hardly anything left? bigfoot
  • Score: 0

7:07pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Hugo1008 says...

Spend some money on Green Open Spaces, there is no finer heritage than facilities for young and old alike to enjoy and appreciate.

Wirral Council have allowed some very special open amenities to fall into decline, derriliction, and some are even no go areas, unless your shooting up and smoking wacky baccy.

Yet every survey carried out informs the Council that the general population want green, pleasant parks and gardens, plus coastland and estuaries.

When will they listen.
Spend some money on Green Open Spaces, there is no finer heritage than facilities for young and old alike to enjoy and appreciate. Wirral Council have allowed some very special open amenities to fall into decline, derriliction, and some are even no go areas, unless your shooting up and smoking wacky baccy. Yet every survey carried out informs the Council that the general population want green, pleasant parks and gardens, plus coastland and estuaries. When will they listen. Hugo1008
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Mon 15 Oct 12

remember the past preserve the future says...

Historic buildings woodchurch leisure centre
Historic buildings woodchurch leisure centre remember the past preserve the future
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Jimrob says...

"Cllr Jerry Williams said: “The big issue with heritage is that we haven’t been getting enough funding."

SINCE WHEN???????

I don't remember the Council Tax going DOWN.

I have seen how you lot at Clown Hall waste our money on freebies for yourselves and pay-outs to departing Senior Officers to make all the TRUTH about your waste simply go away.

I wonder. Would it be at all possible to let us, the mere mortal Tax Payers know just exactly WHAT you actually spend our money on?

Thought not.
"Cllr Jerry Williams said: “The big issue with heritage is that we haven’t been getting enough funding." SINCE WHEN??????? I don't remember the Council Tax going DOWN. I have seen how you lot at Clown Hall waste our money on freebies for yourselves and pay-outs to departing Senior Officers to make all the TRUTH about your waste simply go away. I wonder. Would it be at all possible to let us, the mere mortal Tax Payers know just exactly WHAT you actually spend our money on? Thought not. Jimrob
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Sat 20 Oct 12

colindyas says...

Regarding the above article
1. I should be content that Wirral is in a position to press for special heritage funding, but I’m not sure I am. The article raises some questions:
2. Regarding Cllr Williams comments that Wirral has “not been “getting enough funding”, my immediate thoughts were, why should it get any funding at all? Surely a better attitude would be to initiate self financing activities that remove funding dependency? Wirral could borrow money at cheap local government rates and pass that on in commercial loans to non-civic partnering bodies. They might also waive business rates and regard that as a match fund. In either case there is no dependency, and the assets referred to get back into use.
3. And if Wirral “does get an unfair deal from lottery funding” so what? Expect nothing, and then you won't be disappointed. Having very little, or nothing at all, encourages creativity.
4. And perhaps organisations with money to give away, might be wary of investing in Wirral given a series of regrettable and unforgivable recent financial irregularities and handouts
5. I’d also like to know why some of the properties in this article referred to as positive assets, were referred to as surplus assets for disposal in Wirral’s 2009 Strategic Asset Review. What has changed and why?
6. And given Cllr Williams criticism about the lack of heritage finance awards isn’t it true that Wirral once received a vast EU funding package as part of a programme called the Hamilton Quarter, which included heritage funding? I believe some of this was spent on the tram museum, Pacific Road Arts Centre, and the area around the square. Before council residents face new debt liabilities for new funding awards, I would like to see a contemporary evaluation of how the Hamilton Quarter money was used, and what long term benefits accrued as a result of it?
Regarding the above article 1. I should be content that Wirral is in a position to press for special heritage funding, but I’m not sure I am. The article raises some questions: 2. Regarding Cllr Williams comments that Wirral has “not been “getting enough funding”, my immediate thoughts were, why should it get any funding at all? Surely a better attitude would be to initiate self financing activities that remove funding dependency? Wirral could borrow money at cheap local government rates and pass that on in commercial loans to non-civic partnering bodies. They might also waive business rates and regard that as a match fund. In either case there is no dependency, and the assets referred to get back into use. 3. And if Wirral “does get an unfair deal from lottery funding” so what? Expect nothing, and then you won't be disappointed. Having very little, or nothing at all, encourages creativity. 4. And perhaps organisations with money to give away, might be wary of investing in Wirral given a series of regrettable and unforgivable recent financial irregularities and handouts 5. I’d also like to know why some of the properties in this article referred to as positive assets, were referred to as surplus assets for disposal in Wirral’s 2009 Strategic Asset Review. What has changed and why? 6. And given Cllr Williams criticism about the lack of heritage finance awards isn’t it true that Wirral once received a vast EU funding package as part of a programme called the Hamilton Quarter, which included heritage funding? I believe some of this was spent on the tram museum, Pacific Road Arts Centre, and the area around the square. Before council residents face new debt liabilities for new funding awards, I would like to see a contemporary evaluation of how the Hamilton Quarter money was used, and what long term benefits accrued as a result of it? colindyas
  • Score: 0

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