Building grants scheme opens for business


The first scheme in an exciting project which is set to breathe new life into Hexham’s historic core launches next week.

The Hexham High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Building Grants Scheme will offer funding to enable improvements, and bring new uses, to historic buildings in the action zone area.

To be eligible for a grant a building must be a target property within the Hexham HSHAZ area of Priestpopple, Battle Hill or Cattle Market, and fall into one of the following categories:

  • A historic building which is in need of repair or restoration.
  • A historic building which is currently vacant and would benefit from repurposing to bring new uses into the town.

These categories are in line with Historic England’s guidelines for all of the 68 HSHAZ schemes which are running nationally.

The Building Grants Scheme will run throughout the whole period of the HSHAZ programme, up to March 2024.

The Hexham HSHAZ is a £2.4 million programme which aims to revitalise the town’s historic streets, making it a more attractive and vibrant place for people to live, work, invest in and visit.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zone Programme is funded by Government and run by Historic England, who are a lead partner in the Hexham scheme.  The local partners are Northumberland County Council, Hexham Town Council and Hexham Community Partnership.

Jules Brown, Historic Places Adviser for Historic England, said: “By enabling the restoration and reuse of some of Hexham’s finest historic buildings, we hope that this grant scheme will play a major role in helping to breathe new life into the town centre and aid its post-COVID recovery.”

Senior programme officer Val Robson will be lead on the implementation of the Building Grants Scheme.  She says: “We are so pleased to be getting this, the first project of the Hexham HSHAZ, underway. It is fantastic that Hexham is going to benefit from this investment in high-quality building and shop front improvements, particularly in this important part of the Conservation Area.”

Following a competitive process Northumberland County Council has appointed local company Doonan Architects to act as the Accredited Conservation Architects for the grants scheme.  The company will provide technical project development and quality assurance support.

The Hexham HSHAZ covers parts of the wards of both local county councillors Cath Homer and Trevor Cessford, who sit on the programme steering group.  In a joint statement they said: “This is brilliant news for Hexham and a real opportunity to revitalise the very heart of our town. We have been looking forward to the HSHAZ getting underway and now we have it. We would encourage as many business and property owners to talk to the team about potential schemes as soon as possible.”

As well as the building grants scheme the High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme will make improvements to the public spaces in this part of the town centre.  It will also involve a wide range of people and organisations in celebrating the culture and heritage of Hexham through a programme of activities from events to displays, digital experiences and research.

The Building Grants Scheme launches on Monday 1 February,   

If you think your property might be eligible and you want to find out more, please email: