Townscape Heritage Scheme
The City of Wolverhampton Council has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support The Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme. The project will make available to owners and tenants of properties in Queen Street grants to assist with essential repairs and desirable enhancements. Latest news: During the school holidays we held a number of mini architects and builder's sessions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
The Scheme will provide grant assistance towards the cost of external repairs and enhancements to buildings of historic interest in Queen Street.
Queen Street was laid in the late 18th century and contains some of the city's most important historic buildings including the town's first dispensary providing medical care for the poor, the first free library and the assembly rooms which were later converted into the County Court. The middle of the 19th century saw the opening of Wolverhampton's two rival railway stations and Queen Street became the main route into the town centre for those arriving by rail, until the 1880s when Lichfield Street was widened and extended. Queen Street remained a key location for thriving businesses and became the home of a new prestigious headquarters building for the Express and Star newspaper in the 1930s. Although suffering some 1960s redevelopment it remains one of the most complete historic streets in the Wolverhampton City Centre Conservation Area.
The City of Wolverhampton Council has secured Heritage Lottery Funding to support The Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme. The Scheme will provide grant assistance towards the cost of external repairs and enhancements to buildings of historic interest in Queen Street. The award will help to support the city's Interchange scheme, improving an important pedestrian route from the bus and rail stations through to the city centre's main retail shopping area. £815,000 will be made available in the form of grants which will facilitate the repair and enhancement of historic buildings, focusing particularly on the reinstatement of historic shopfronts, and the provision of sound and attractive external envelopes that will encourage the full use of the buildings.
The Scheme also includes a community engagement programme that will include opportunities for participation in a number of training events, talks and tours. The Scheme enjoys a close working relationship with a number of local Partners, including schools, colleges and the University. It is expected that many of the outputs from the community engagement programme will be presented in a digital format through a dedicated app that will initially focus on providing a new city trail for both children and adults.
The Council is keen to promote adaptation for climate change and has recently joined the European Union AIDA project, which aims to develop a European network to promote near-zero-energy building design in both new and refurbished buildings. Grant applicants will, therefore, be encouraged to consider opportunities for the sensitive incorporation of measures to increase energy efficiency.
Queen Street first came into being in the 1750s, during a time of growth and prosperity for Wolverhampton.
Queen Street first came into being in the 1750s, during a time of growth and prosperity for Wolverhampton. At this time much of the area now occupied by Queen Street, Castle Street and Tower Street was undeveloped croft & meadow land.
The development of Queen Street took place in 2 phases. The first was between 1754 and 1788 on the north side of the street, between the present Princess Street and Piper's Row - ie the side with the smaller properties. There were originally 29 properties and of these, the footprints of 28 still survive. During this period people both worked and lived in the street and the small metal trades that the area was known for were well represented; for example, brass & iron founding, buckle making, tin plating, rulemaking. Being a new street, people were keen to live and trade there and slowly it became home to the full range of trades from pubs to plumbing and tailoring to watch-chain making. The second phase of development, now on the south side of the street began in 1812 and was on a much grander scale than that of the north side. Here there were large houses and prestigious organisations such as:
- the Congregational Chapel on the corner with current Market Street. The Chapel no longer exists except in the name of the present building, Chapel Court Job Centre. A member of a prominent Wolverhampton family and devotee of the congregationalist movement, John Mander, purchased the site for the chapel, but being a businessman he kept the vaults underneath for his own use and let them to a wine and brandy merchant!
- number 46, now Johnny Spice, originated as the township's first public dispensary for treating the poor. It later housed the towns first largescale Post Office, and then became a school for
- the Post Office later moved up the street to number 55 but was demolished in the interwar years for the Express and Star building. The original pillar box stamped with Queen Victoria's crest is preserved outside on the pavement;
- number 50, originated as the town's subscription library, then with the addition of a second storey, it became the town's Assembly Rooms, which later became the County Court. The building, last used as a nightclub is presently vacant and for sale;
- number 43, originated as the Town's Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, and now houses the Army Careers Service;
At the same time as the south side was being developed, what is now the lower end of Queen Street between Princess Street and Dudley Street was being developed, but it required an Act of Parliament to do it. Old buildings already existed and compulsory purchases had to be made, and compensation paid before the development could proceed.
As the small metal trades declined, the north side of the street became a treasure trove of emporiums where you could buy any item- bespoke clothing, hosiery, hats, boots & shoes, books & stationery, surgical instruments, clocks & watches, leather goods, various household provisions, musical goods. You could also access many services accountancy, legal advice, surveying, fire insurance, cabinet making, engraving & guilding, hairdressing. (the latter initially only for men).
More recently, and within living memory, some might recall other interesting aspects of the street:
- number 20 had a basement designated as an air-raid shelter during WW2 which could hold 60 people;
- number 27, was occupied by Snapes the famous Black County tea and coffee merchants, until recently the last representative of this distinctive part of the street's history.
- numbers 30 and 31a had basements similarly designated and could hold 260 people;
- number 36 was once Perry's Tea Rooms, akaThe London Tea Rooms, and in 1934 the Express and Star reported that one of the lodgers & frequenters of the tea rooms, when he
- was in Wolverhampton on business, was T E Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. He was happy there because nobody recognised him and he could chat about football with fellow customers.
The street hosted a 19th-century tramway, horse-drawn initially, with journeys to Tettenhall, Willenhall, Bilston and Moxley. In 1910 the Corporation contracted with Tarmac for a new carriageway in Queen Street (and Berry Street) and 20 years later the street and pavement were widened to accommodate developing trade and movement around the town, the extra width being created by the purchase of the south side forecourts which were a good 4 to 5 feet deep at the time.
Now, into the 21st century, Queen Street has entered another cycle of development.
Grants will be available for the repair of buildings of historic and architectural interest and where features of interest have been removed for their reinstatement.
Grant Eligible categories of work
This includes the structural and external repair of historic buildings which are in use. It can sometimes include internal repairs but only if these are necessary for structural stability.
It does not include routine maintenance, redecoration or internal repairs alone unless the decoration is needed as a direct result of eligible repair.
To put into sound repair the structure and external envelope of buildings that make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the conservation area. Repairs should be comprehensive in scope, using appropriate techniques or methods of construction and high quality natural or traditional materials, normally on a like for like basis. Substitute or artificial materials are ineligible and their use is generally unacceptable on grant-aided projects.
Grant Rate - Up to 70% of eligible repair costs.
Repairs may include:
- Consolidation or reinforcement of the existing structure, using the most conservative approach that is practicable, although limited reconstruction as existing might be eligible.
- Appropriate repairs to timber frames, roof structure, beams and other structural timbers, based on a careful and comprehensive survey of the existing structure. In situ reinforced resin repairs to structural timbers are not acceptable unless justified on the grounds of avoiding major disturbance of historic fabric.
- Dry rot eradication and timber preservation treatments, preferably based on an analysis and specification by an independent consultant (whose fees are also eligible), and using non-destructive techniques and non-toxic applications wherever possible.
- Damp-proofing by traditional methods, but only where damp is causing structural damage to the building. Damp-eradication measures, such as improved drainage, the introduction of French drains, or the lowering of ground levels, are preferable where practicable. Post-application damp proof courses are ineligible and often further damage or exasperate damp problems in historic buildings.
- Re-roofing in natural materials traditional to the area, normally to match the historic covering, re-using sound existing materials or using new materials and/or where possible. Repairs to the roof structure and high-level external elements should be undertaken concurrently. Re-roofing with artificial or alternative materials, such as concrete tiles, asbestos cement slates, reconstructed slates or reconstructed stone slates is not eligible for a grant, nor is the use of roofing felt for flat roofs or lining gutters.
- Repair or renewal of existing lead work, the provision of weathering, and the re-forming of gutters to adequate falls, normally in accordance with the details and weights recommended in the Manual by the Lead Sheet Association.
- The repair or replacement of rainwater goods or a rainwater disposal system to a building to match the historic material and sections. Generally, this will be in cast iron, but occasionally in lead, timber or stone, where appropriate. Cast aluminium may be appropriate in certain circumstances. Aluminium (other than cast), plastic, PVC or GRP rainwater goods are not eligible.
- The repair of external stonework and brickwork, to an appropriate specification. Plastic in-situ resin-based mortar repairs to brickwork and stonework are not normally acceptable or eligible, except in minor areas.
- The selective rebuilding of existing stonework and brickwork, if structurally necessary and to an agreed specification. Generally, this will be using salvaged existing materials, and/or new matching materials and should be preceded by a record survey of the existing. Only repointing which is structurally necessary kept to the absolute minimum required and carried out to an appropriate specification is eligible.
- Repairs to external render, stucco and limited areas of renewal (there should be a presumption against total or substantial renewal unless this is unavoidable), to an approved specification. If such a coating has been removed in recent years to the detriment of the performance and appearance of the building, its reinstatement may be the most appropriate form of repair.
- The external cleaning of stonework and brickwork is only eligible where there is such a build-up of dirt, paint or built up resin coatings on the surface that it must be removed in order to assess the extent of necessary repair or where the surface build-up is damaging the fabric of the building by chemical action. Cleaning for cosmetic reasons is therefore never eligible. Any cleaning which is agreed to be eligible must be undertaken to an approved specification and carried out by specialist contractors.
- The repair or reinstatement of retaining walls, boundary walls and/or railings, if they contribute to the stability of the building, enhance its setting, or are of particular interest in the conservation area. Grants available under this section can include the reinstatement of architectural features, but only where the building is otherwise in sound repair, or will be repaired as part of the project. These features must be clearly visible from public places.
Reinstatement of architectural details
To reinstate in whole or part elements of the exterior fabric of buildings which are essential to their design and character, such as ornamental masonry, stucco and other applied finishes and details, joinery to historic patterns, and ornamental metalwork such as balconies, canopies and finials. It does not include "conjectural restoration" work, that is work for which there is no firm historical evidence, either surviving on the building or recorded in photographs or drawings nor does it include works involving the reversal of alterations that are themselves of quality or interest.
Grant Rate - Up to 85% of eligible reinstatement costs.
Reinstatement of architectural details grants may be offered for:
- The reinstatement to the historic pattern, detail and opening mechanisms, and in the historic material, of windows, external doors and other external joinery which contributes to the character of the building and/or the conservation area.
- The reinstatement of applied details and features such as cornices, string courses, window architraves, columns, pilasters, etc. These should be repaired carefully and accurately to the historic form or profile and as nearly as possible to the historic composition. GRP or similar replacement mouldings are not acceptable for a grant, nor are proprietary in-situ resin-based repairs.
- The repair to the historic pattern and detail of distinctive architectural features, for example, decorative ironwork such as balconies, canopies, cresting and railings, tiling and other historic finishes and architectural sculpture.
- Reinstatement of chimneys, including lining or rebuilding if structurally essential, provided that the chimney is reinstated accurately to the historic height and profile; also replacement of the historic style of chimney pots/cans. The retention and repair of existing stacks may be a condition of grant offered to other work.
- The reinstatement of traditional shopfronts; care should be taken not to damage or destroy any original features that may remain under later shop frontage additions, in particular, the fascia board, cornicing, stall riser, and any original window framing or glazing. All schemes should start with careful dismantling of any existing, inappropriate frontage to allow recording and if relevant; the repair and reuse of the existing original or historic framework. Schemes should not be conjectural however a modern interpretation of a traditional scheme using appropriate proportions, materials and character relative to the integrity of the building it occupies, will be considered on individual merit. Lighting, signage and security measures appropriate to the Conservation area may also be eligible for a grant if forming part of an overall shopfront improvement scheme.
- Installation of canopies is not eligible (and if non-traditional is unlikely to receive consent). However. if the proposal involves the reinstatement of a traditional awning or sun blind - usually a length of canvas attached to a folding metal frame and roller - where evidence still exists of its presence (blind box, or photographic proof) this may be considered if part of an overall shopfront improvement scheme.
- Proposals should never involve the extension of a shop frontage across an independent means of access to upper floors and priority will be given to schemes which seek to reinstate such closed routes to otherwise inaccessible upper floors above shops.
Reinstatement grants will only be offered where the building fabric as a whole is in sound repair or will be made so with a concurrent repair grant. Details to be reinstated must be based on sound archival or physical evidence taken from the building itself or similarly detailed neighbours. Conjectural restoration will not grant eligible and any reinstatement project must not involve the removal of original or later features of interest.
Details about the Townscape Heritage grant application process including making an application; grant eligible expenditure; time limits; standards of work etc.
Some Basic Requirements
To apply for a grant you must own or lease a property that has been identified as eligible under the Townscape Heritage Scheme. Applications for a Townscape Heritage grant cannot be made retrospectively. You will not receive grant aid if you start eligible works before your application is approved and have accepted any offer of grant.
If project costs are likely to exceed £10,000, grant applicants must appoint a conservation accredited agent registered with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation, or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The websites: www.ribafind.org, www.aabc-register.co.uk, and www.ricsfirms.com, provide lists of architects and surveyors throughout the United Kingdom who are accredited in building conservation. The Council has compiled a list of such practices across the West Midlands region [493kb], but assumes no liability for its accuracy, or implies any endorsement of these practices.
In order to make a grant application professional agents should prepare, drawings, specifications and schedules of work, and seek tenders for the work. Once works have commenced they must also supervise the works, and certify completion. The fees in connection with these services are grant eligible under the Townscape Heritage scheme, at the rates that apply for repairs and reinstatements. However, no grant payments can be released until work has commenced on site.
Three written quotations are required on the basis of the professionally prepared specification for the grant eligible works. Contractors with relevant experience of conservation standards and employing staff holding CITB Conservation Cards are to be preferred.
The application form should be accompanied by full details of the proposed works. This must include:
- A full specification of works, with details of materials and a method statement
- Drawings - relevant annotated plans, elevations and cross sections
- Photographs of elevations and architectural details
- Work programme
- Expenditure profile
- Summary sheet for all tenders received and a full copy of the successful tender.
Grant offers are calculated on the basis of:
- The tendered cost of works; preliminaries, including scaffold licences, compliance with the Party Wall Act etc, and contingencies up to a level of 10% of the cost of works;
- Full professional fees for architectural services, and spending on fees associated with planning permission; building regulations, and listed building consent are granted eligible up to a level of 12.5% of the cost of works.
- VAT in connection with the costs of works and fees is also grant eligible, where this cannot later be recovered by the applicant. The zero-rating of VAT on works of alteration to listed buildings no longer applies.
Offers of a grant must be accepted within three months of it being offered otherwise it may be withdrawn.
Works must commence on site within nine months of the acceptance of grant, otherwise, the offer of a grant may be withdrawn.
Projects must be completed within 2 years of the acceptance of the grant.
The works must be carried out in accordance with the current best practice in the conservation of historic buildings. The recently published British Standard BS 9313: Conservation of Historic Buildings provides definitive guidance on best practice in the management and treatment of historic buildings - find out more here: www.bsigroup.com
Works must be undertaken precisely as specified in the tender documentation, and where required samples and sample panels must be provided for inspection and approval. Failure to adhere to the agreed specification may result in the withdrawal of the grant
Grant payments will be made in arrears on receipt of a completed claim form, and supported by either invoices for such work (certified by a qualified person), or by a professional supervisor's certificate indicating the cost of the work received. Claims should be submitted monthly, unless agreed otherwise, and will be based on actual expenditure incurred.
10% of the total grant will be withheld from the final payment until the Council is satisfied that all works have been completed to the required standard, has received a copy of the practical completion certificate and the contractor's final account has been settled and all relevant evidence has been received and is deemed satisfactory by the Council.
If a property is sold within a specified period following the Townscape Heritage grant being awarded then the owner may have to repay all or part of the grant. This is known as 'clawback'
The Council is committed to furthering the objectives of sustainable development through the Townscape Heritage scheme.
This means that, as far as possible, we will take account of all long term environmental benefits and costs.
Listed buildings, locally listed buildings and buildings within conservation areas are exempt from compliance with the relevant part of the Building Regulations (Part L) - to the extent that such requirements would unacceptably alter the character and appearance of such buildings - the aim being that these buildings should achieve improved efficiencies, as far as reasonably practical without prejudicing their character, or increasing risks of deterioration. Thermal performance overall can however be improved without detracting from the character of the building or the Character Area as a whole.
Opportunities where improvements can be made to both environmental and energy efficiencies within the Town Heritage (TH) area include:
- environmental sustainability in historic refurbishments through appropriate design;
- window glazing with the use of secondary glazing or the use of Histo Glass / Slim Light;
- restoring historic features rather than replacing;
- utilising insulation materials that breathe and avoid the build-up of moisture;
- locally sourcing labour and materials; and
- limiting waste by the re-use of materials
- small scale renewables
- high efficiency condensing boilers and flue gas recovery
- biomas boilers
- micro combined heat and power
- waste water heat recovery
- smart metering
The HLF publication Planning Greener Heritage Projects, 2009 includes guidance and information on a wide range of aspects of sustainability in relation to heritage buildings and the provision of new buildings within a heritage context. A copy of the document can be viewed on the HLF website, www.hlf.org.uk and the information covers topics including:
- energy efficiency;
- renewable energy;
- building materials;
- construction waste;
- biodiversity; and
- local transport.
Proposals on alterations and development should be based on 'whole life costs'. This means that decisions should be based not just on initial capital cost, but also on the costs of renovation, maintenance and day-to-day operation over the expected lifetime of an asset.
Ideally, part of 'whole life costing' or 'whole life value' should also be to look at impacts that are not fully reflected in financial costs, or which are difficult to measure in financial terms - particularly carbon impacts. This means considering social and environmental costs associated with the design, construction, operation, decommissioning and (sometimes) the re-use of a building or the building materials at the end of its useful life.
The Sustainable Traditional Building Alliance seeks to promote and deliver a more sustainable traditional built environment by assessing and understanding the real performance and impact of traditional buildings, and to develop guidance for the refurbishment and management of traditional buildings. The Alliance has recently produced a Sustainable Retrofit Wheel www.responsible-retrofit.org/wheel. It depicts more than 50 measures that can be used in the retrofit of traditional buildings and evaluates their performance and potential interactions.
Heritage England's publication Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings has been produced to help prevent conflicts between energy efficiency requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations and the conservation of historic and traditionally constructed buildings. The advice also acts as "second tier" supporting guidance in the interpretation of the Building Regulations.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) has also produced a comprehensive Briefing on energy efficiency in old buildings.
Regular inspection and maintenance can help to prevent the need for expensive repairs at a later date, whilst a well maintained building will retain maximum value. A small regular investment in maintenance can limit the need for and extent of later expensive repairs. Inspection, maintenance and repair carried out on a regular basis will safeguard the condition of a building, and avoid the development of major faults that are likely to be expensive to remedy. For example the cleaning of leaves and moss from gutters, hopper heads and gullies can prevent many of the most common causes of decay.
The most common causes of failure are poor construction, inappropriate repair and neglect. Simple neglect to rainwater disposal, often exacerbated by past inappropriate works are most frequently encountered in historic buildings. For example where repointing in hard cement mortars leads to high moisture levels in the walling, which as a result of salt mobilisation and freeze thaw action causes decay to both brick and stone, whilst dampness can cause mould growth or in extreme cases timber rot.
As part of the planned management of your building a regular and reactive maintenance regime is highly recommended and should be established on at least an annual basis after the autumn leaf fall. Inspections should be undertaken both internally and externally and take a consistent approach looking at the various elements of the building using a check list.
The Townscape Heritage Scheme wishes to encourage the better maintenance of Queen Street's historic buildings and is committed to supporting National Maintenance Week held every November when it is hoped that a seminar will be held on "Maintenance Matters".
The Townscape Heritage Newsletter [2Mb] will contain a regular feature on this important topic with each issue looking at different elements of a building and the symptoms and causes of failure.
There follows a summary what to look out for and recommended actions.
|Slipped slates and tiles||Reinstate with tingles, or proprietary invisible clips eg "jenny twin" clips see www.owens-slates.com|
|Missing slates and tiles||Reinstate with tingles using replacement matching in size colour and thickness|
|Cracked slates and tiles||monitor|
|Delamination slates and tiles||monitor|
|Vegetation and moss||Carefully remove|
|Missing mortar from ridges hips and verges||Replace in appropriate mix|
|Broken missing pots||Replace and ensure well seated pots|
|Missing pointing||Repoint in appropriate mortar|
|Dislodged flashings||Replace in lead|
|Decayed brickwork||Replace in matching brick|
|Leaning cracked stack||Monitor and investigate cause|
|Dampness||Cap flues but maintain airflow and pots, renew flaunching around pots|
|GUTTERS AND RAINWATER PIPES|
|Blockages, debris, vegetation, nests||Clean gutters, pipes and hopper heads|
|Overflow||Clean gutters, pipes and hopper heads|
|leaks||Make good joints or replace|
|Missing pipes/gutters||Replace in cast metal|
|Inadequate falls||Refix to correct falls|
|Vegetation algae on walls||remove|
|LEAD VALLEYS, FLASHINGS, ROOFS|
|splits||Consider replacement possible introduction of proprietary expansion joints|
|Pitting and pinholes||Burn in new pieces|
|Creep and rippling||Consider replacement reconfiguration|
|Vegetation and debris build up||Carefully remove|
|General dampness||Investigate causes- penetrating damp, rising damp etc repair fabric clear earth and debris below floor levels|
|Weathered and missing pointing||Consider selective repointing in appropriate mortar|
|Cracks and bulges||monitor|
|Vegetation, mosses, algae||Remove and investigate causes|
|Spalling brick||Consider cutting out and replacing|
|Flaking paint||Investigate, dampness, incompatible systems|
|Dropped arches||Investigate lintels|
|Decayed cills, lining boards||Replace or piece in selectively|
|Open and decayed joints||Selective splicing, proprietary epoxy repair systems|
|Cracked and missing putty||Re-putty|
|Cracked and broken glass||replace|
|Broken sash cords||replace|
|Visible back-up||Clean, rod|
|Poor drain flow||Rod and survey|
|Ground movement||Monitor heave/ seasonal movement/ slip|
|Tree roots||Possibly fell or pollard|
|Ventilation grills blocked||Reduce soil levels|
|Dampness||Check for external defects|
|Condensation, mould||Increase ventilation|
|Peeling paint and decorations||Check for external defects|
|Insect attack||Check for beetle dust, treat investigate cause dampness|
|rot||Treat, restore structural integrity-splice in new material, insert steels or rod repairs, investigate causes of dampness.|
|Splits, cracks||monitor restore structural integrity-splice in new material, insert steels or rod repairs|
Shopfronts play a significant role in creating the character and image of an area.
Proposed shopfronts at 19 to 21 Queen StreetDuring Victorian times the northern side of Queen Street came to be dominated by retail activity, which was accompanied by the installation of high quality shopfronts in earlier domestic frontages, and the construction of purpose designed retail development. This created a distinguished retail frontage that survived substantially intact until the mid-twentieth century, after which it suffered from the attrition caused by individual shopfront replacement, and at the eastern end of the street the wholesale clearance of the historic buildings along this side of the street.
Shopfronts play a significant role in creating the character and image of an area. Well designed shopfronts are an effective means of improving the shopping environment, presenting a favourable image of individual businesses, and influencing overall perceptions of an area. Poorly designed and maintained shopfronts, accompanied by inappropriate advertising, and excessive security measures combine to have a negative impact on the perceptions an area that can result in a loss of vitality and poor economic performance.
By funding shopfront improvements it is hoped that the Townscape Heritage Scheme will recreate an attractive and distinctive retail environment that will assist in improving the economic prosperity of this part of the City.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has approved funds for the replacement of modern shopfronts along the northern side of Queen Street. It is a requirement of the Heritage Lottery Fund that replacement shopfronts should, in their design, detailing and materials accurately reproduce those that previously existed within each of the individual frontages. In recognition of the costs of achieving this objective grant rates for shopfront replacement have been set at 85% of eligible costs.
The Friends of the Archives, a member of the Townscape Heritage Partnership, are undertaking a research project to reveal `the detailed history of Queen Street, which will also assist in developing the shopfront enhancement scheme. This has already revealed photographs and drawings that will inform the design of individual replacement shopfronts, with initial concept drawings being developed by the Council.
For further information contact: the Queen Street Townscape Heritage Officer, John Healey, on 01902 554007, email@example.com
The Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme is supported by a partnership of local groups and institutions.
The Partnership seeks to advise and guide the Council on the delivery of the objectives of the scheme, and scrutinises the delivery of its various objectives, including the review of grant applications. A working group of the Partnership meets on a bi-monthly basis.
The partner organisations comprise:-
Wolverhampton Partners in Progress
Established some 20 years ago to promote the City, and is responsible for running various initiatives:- including 'The Environmental Awards' and 'Sons & Daughters of Wolverhampton'. Chris Bywater, Townscape Heritage Partnership Chair), a Charter Surveyor represents the organisation on the Working Group.
The University of Wolverhampton
School of Architecture & Built Environment (SOABE). Dr. Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem, Project Leader, and Mr. Colin Orr, Head of Architecture and Vice Chair of Wolverhampton and District Society of Architects, represent the organisation on the Working Group. SOABE's Architecture students take part in the project activities through surveys, research, drawings and modelling of heritage buildings in Queen Street.
Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society
The recently combined Civic and Historical Societies. Monitors development proposals, promotes walks and talks, together with initiatives such as the blue plaque scheme. Suhail Rana, Chairman of the Society represents the organisation on the Working Group.
Wolverhampton and District Society of Architects
The local branch for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) representing registered architects across the greater Wolverhampton area. Promotes good architecture and built environment with an annual lecture series, together with individual initiatives such as the "Forgotten Spaces" competition and exhibition. Leigh Holt, Chartered Architect, a director of etc Design Ltd, and Chair of the Society represents the organisation on the Working Group.
Wolverhampton Business Improvement District
Representing 678 businesses that pay a supplementary rate to deliver an agreed programme including:- enhanced cleaning and greening, and the City Centre Street Ambassadors. Cherry Shine, Director Wolverhampton BID represents the organisation on the Working Group.
The Friends of the Archives
A voluntary group supporting and promoting the City Archives. Currently investigating the history of Queen Street, and have produced a talk from this material. Jackie Harrison, represents the organisation on the Working Group.
The Wolverhampton Regenerating Buildings Preservation Trust
Established some 20 years ago in collaboration with the Council, with the objective of securing the future of buildings of architectural and historic interest at risk. Projects undertaken include the renovation of 12 George Street. Ed Barron, a retired Chartered Engineer, represents the organisation on the Working Group.
The College is facilitating the skills training days by the provision of facilities and welcomes the opportunity for their students to widen their skills base. Joel Dalhouse, Curriculum Manager, Department of Construction represents the organisation on the Working Group.
Wolverhampton Cultural Arts Organisation
An organisation recently formed to promote the cultural diversity of the City. Gurmeet Sangha represents the organisation on the Working Group.
Queen Street Digital Trail
This webapp draws from research carried out by the Friends of Wolverhampton Archives and Queen Street project volunteers and provides audio guides to some of Queen Street's historic buildings, along with videos and images of 3D models created by students from Wolverhampton University. It can be viewed on smart phones, tablets, or in any web browser. http://wolverhampton.audio-guide.co.uk/
Queen Street publications
The research conducted by the Friends of Wolverhampton Archives and the Queen Street project volunteers has been used to create a series of booklets, which are available to download as pdfs.
- Queen Street, Wolverhampton: A Journey from Croft to Georgian Splendour - by Jackie Harrison and Patricia Hughes
- Queen Street Congregational Church - by Susan Martin and Jean Bell
- Queen Street Essays - edited by Ashleigh Hudson
Did you know?
At Wolverhampton Art Gallery we have a splendid painting which includes Queen Adelaide. The painting, by Charles Robert Leslie (after), shows the christening of Princess Victoria, in 1841. Little Victoria, Princess Royal, was the first daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert and she was given the title soon after her birth. It is traditional for the first born girl of the Royal Family to take the title of Princess Royal. The Dowager Queen Adelaide can be seen on the left of the painting with her hands on the font.
The painting is in storage at the moment but was brought out for people to see at the launch of the Queen Street project on March 21st. The gallery plan to have the painting on permanent display in the Education Room very shortly.
The gallery also houses a delicate print of Queen Adelaide by W. Alais, which unfortunately is too delicate for display.
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The Council has an enviable track record in the delivery of conservation grant schemes
For example in the City centre, schemes such as that on Stafford Street, which brought back into full use the former local Co-operative Headquarters and the former School Board Office, and also on Worcester Street the fine parade of Edwardian shops on Worcester Street now featuring reinstated shopfronts to the original design, and with the upper floors converted to flats in collaboration with a housing association.
The Bilston Townscape Heritage Initiative brought about transformational change in the presentation of the town's historic core, for example with the rejuvenation of the former Wood's Palace Cinema (later Odeon), now a dining venue, and through the restoration to their original historic appearances of many buildings that had suffered from hugely unsympathetic 20th century alterations.
During the school holidays we held a number of mini architects and builder's sessions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
At the sessions children were encouraged to think about Queen Street past and future. We questioned:
- What the street might look like in the future?
- Would people still live there?
- Would there still be shops and businesses?
Young people came up with imaginative ideas for multi-use buildings where spaces could be rented out for living and income generation.
Water shortages, overcrowding, rooftop gardens, recycling and vegetable growing were all considered important. Would the world be run by robots and animatronics?