Lists of important local heritage assets across the Black Country are to be improved, updated and extended after the region won £70,000 of Government funding.

Councils in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton joined forces to successfully bid for the funding under a national campaign to develop local heritage lists. 

The lists help councils to formally identify those sites which have extra significance locally. This significance will then be taken into account in planning applications affecting the building or site and its setting.

In addition, the lists will support Historic Environment Policies in the developing Black Country Plan. A set of standard criteria will be developed for local listing across all 4 authorities, ensuring consistency across the region.

Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton already have local lists, but this funding will enable them to be updated in accordance with recently published guidance provided by Historic England and in recognition of the Black County becoming a UNESCO Global Geopark. 

City of Wolverhampton Council is the lead authority on the project and will be working with the other Black Country councils as well as local societies, amenity groups, and national historical organisations to update existing information and develop enhanced lists.

The project will also include an opportunity for local people to put forward sites they feel should be included on the lists as well as new ways in which the public can view them.

Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman, Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The Black Country has some incredible heritage sites that deserve to be recognised and protected.

“Our region offers a fantastic array of attractions, steeped in history and character and the funding will help us make sure our local heritage lists can accurately reflect that.

“I’m pleased to see that councils will be working together on this important project and that history societies and local people will also be included in the creation of the lists. We are surrounded by a historic environment and it is important that we do all we can to protect it.”

Funding to create and update the lists came from the Government’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The Black Country was one of 22 areas in England to have made a successful bid.