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Video – Sutton town centre gains Heritage Action Zone status

Sutton town centre has been chosen as one of the first ten Heritage Action Zones by Historic England, the driving force behind this nationwide initiative.

Sutton joins Appleby, Coventry, Elsecar, Hull, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Ramsgate, Sunderland and Weston-super-Mare.

Sutton’s HAZ will be supported by local organisations including Successful Sutton BID and the Carshalton and District History and Archaeological Society (CADHAS).

The town centre is home to notable examples of architecture from the late Victorian era, the 1930s, and the 1950s. The Sutton HAZ will promote sustainable economic growth using the historic environment as a catalyst, and define what good growth looks like.

Sutton Council applied for Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) status to formally recognise the strong sense of local pride in Sutton’s Victorian heritage. Status as a HAZ now provides opportunities to enhance the heritage value of Sutton town centre and will help realise our ambition to make Sutton a more attractive and interesting place for everyone that visits.

Cllr Steve Penneck, Heritage Champion for Sutton town centre, said:

“Most people know about the growth of Sutton in Victorian times when the railways were built. You can still see remarkable examples of Victorian-era and early 20th-century architecture on the High Street by looking above the modern shop-fronts – Sutton is fortunate that many of these wonderful buildings have been preserved.

“We are really proud that Historic England have granted the town centre Heritage Action Zone status. I sincerely hope that in a hundred years’ time people will look at our current developments and think they are worthy of preserving as heritage buildings, as we do today.”

Some of the standout buildings in the Sutton HAZ include the Barclays Bank building, originally the London and Provincial Bank dating from 1894; Sutton Baptist Church, which drew plaudits when it opened in the 1930s; and Sutton Police Station on Carshalton Road.

Emily Gee, London Planning Director, Historic England said:

“We are delighted that Sutton will become London’s first Heritage Action Zone.  Heritage can be a driver for good growth and many parts of London, like Sutton, face huge pressure from development.  We hope that the Sutton town centre HAZ will become an example for other London boroughs to follow in using their heritage to promote sustainable economic growth. We look forward to discovering more about Sutton’s heritage and working with all our partners to ensure the success of the Heritage Action Zone.

Notes to Editors

Heritage Action Zones

Heritage Action Zones will unleash the power in England’s historic environment to create economic growth and improve quality of life in villages, towns and cities.

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, tourists and investors. We will do this with joint-working, grant funding and sharing our skills.

Historic buildings that have deteriorated through decades of neglect will be restored and put back into use; conservation areas improved to kick-start regeneration and renewal; and unsung places will be recognised and celebrated for their unique character and heritage, helping instil a sense of local pride wherever there’s a Heritage Action Zone.

About Historic England

We are Historic England, the public body that champions and protects England’s historic places. We look after the historic environment, providing expert advice, helping people protect and care for it and helping the public to understand and enjoy it.