Walworth awarded Heritage Action Zone status to revive its historic heart

5 December 2017

Southwark has become the first inner London borough to have an area named as a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ).

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, John Glen, today announced that Walworth has been chosen as one of the country’s HAZs, which will aim to put this historic part of the borough at the heart of social regeneration, connecting with communities and local businesses to bring historic buildings back into use and develop an understanding of its sense of place.

The five-year Walworth HAZ scheme - run by Southwark Council and Historic England will explore the many stories and layers of history which help make Walworth special and offers exceptional opportunities to work with a wide range of community, educational and business partners to generate local improvements and an appreciation of the area’s historic and cultural character.

Working with local people and partners, Historic England will help to breathe new life into old places that are rich in heritage and full of promise - unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses and tourists.

The vision of Southwark Council and its partners, made up of community groups, the local university, local historians and archaeologists, as well as the principal developers working in the area, is to rediscover, celebrate and enjoy Walworth as a historic urban village, a civic town, and as a vibrant place of character where people want to live, work and explore.

The scheme is being led by Southwark Council and will help to restore Walworth’s historic character, boost understanding and enjoyment, and create jobs. 
The detailed delivery plan for the Heritage Action Zone will now be prepared for delivery from spring 2018 onwards, and will identify any grant-funding to be provided by Historic England.

Heritage Minister John Glen said: "Our heritage not only tells the story of our past, it creates great places to live, work and visit. The Heritage Action Zone scheme will make the most out of Walworth’s historic environment to kick-start regeneration, and boost investment.”

Emily Gee, Planning Director for Historic England in London, said: “Walworth has so much to be proud of, from its historic Grade 1 Church to its vibrant street market and the many stories of its diverse communities. The investment that the HAZ can bring can help Walworth’s historic buildings become more of an asset for the people of Walworth to enjoy and also help benefit the local economy.

“We are looking forward to working with Southwark Council to increase awareness of what Walworth has to offer and to working with investors, local societies, community initiatives to embed its historic character into improving the area and encouraging good growth.”

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes at Southwark Council, said:  “We’re delighted that Walworth has been chosen as one of the country’s Heritage Action Zones by Historic England. In Southwark we take our duty as custodians of the borough’s rich, varied and important heritage very seriously.

“We are excited to be part of this national initiative and looking forward to working with the Walworth Society – who have done so much already for the area - and Historic England to ensure that Walworth’s rich cultural character and heritage is protected and celebrated for current and future generations.”

Page last updated: 05 December 2017