Dudley Castle site 'saved' and no longer at risk of being lost

Dudley Castle has been removed from a list of hundreds of historic sites at risk of being lost forever to future generations.

Dudley Castle
Dudley Castle

Historic England's latest Heritage at Risk Register published today shows that the Grade I listed structure is among 22 properties and places in the region to have been placed in the 'saved' category in the past year.

A Scheduled Monument work at the castle site is "making progress" despite delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dudley Council was awarded a £50,000 grant to carry out a programme of surveys and condition assessments for the The Castle Hill Vision and the new report states that the assessment stage is due to be completed by next month. The next phase will see the heritage body helping to help secure funding to complete the project.

Those also saved include St Michael's and All Angels Church, Blithbury Road, Hamstall Ridware near Rugeley, in Staffordshire; and Birmingham's imposing Grand Hotel, in Colmore Row.

Meanwhile the Severn Wharf Building at Ironbridge Gorge near Telford is among seven situated in the region now added to the at risk register.

In addition dozens of sites and places in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Staffordshire and Wyre Forest remain listed as at risk.

The register is the annual health-check of England’s most valued historic places and those most at risk of being destroyed as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

Historic Dudley Castle

The report states that the 22 sites were removed due to the hard work and dedication of charities, landowners, councils which worked in partnership with the Government agency to bring sites back to life.

The Government has pumped £921,883 in Culture Recovery Fund grants during the pandemic to help cover the cost of emergency repairs to historic buildings and to support skilled heritage craft workers.

Historic England’s Midlands regional director Louise Brennan said: “Our heritage is an anchor for us all in testing times. Despite the challenges we have all faced recently, this year’s Heritage at Risk Register demonstrates that looking after and investing in our historic places can bring communities together, contribute to the country’s economic recovery and help tackle climate change.

"The 22 sites saved this year in the West Midlands show what’s possible with strong partnerships, dedicated individuals and funding support. But there is always more to do to give our cherished heritage the attention, investment and secure future it deserves.”

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "I'm delighted that so many famous landmarks have been removed from the Heritage at Risk register in 2021.

"We've supported the sector throughout the pandemic with our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund and it's great news to see this investment, along with other financial support, having such a positive impact.

"Heritage helps us understand our past and bringing old buildings and sites back into public use helps us to level up communities, create growth and protect these important assets for future generations."

Other saved sites include the canalside Grade II listed city engineers depot, in Sheepcote Street, Ladywood, in Birmingham.

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