Appleby named one of country's first Heritage Action Zones

Appleby's St Lawrence's Church Credit: Google Maps

Appleby has been named one of the country's first Heritage Action Zones in a bid to boost tourism by tapping into the town's history.

Historic England is the driving force behind this nationwide initiative, which is aimed at breathing new life into areas rich in uncelebrated heritage. The town joins Coventry, Elsecar, Hull, King's Lynn, Nottingham, Ramsgate, Sunderland, Sutton and Weston-super-Mare.

The five-year Appleby project is based on a partnership between Historic England, Eden District Council and Appleby-in-Westmorland Town Council, who are working together with the local community to use the power of Appleby's heritage to boost the local economy.

The overall investment over five years is estimated to be £1,650,000, with Historic England contributing around £760,000.

Since 2015's Storm Desmond floods Appleby has been designated a Conservation Area at Risk and several buildings feature on the Heritage at Risk Register. Tourism is one of the town's major industries, but Eden District Council say Appleby has suffered from a decline in visitor numbers in recent years.

It is hoped the Heritage Action Zone scheme will grow Appleby's tourism economy, and engage the local community through heritage open days and projects with local schools to help restore the town's conservation area and public realm for future generations to enjoy.

"We are over the moon that Appleby has been chosen, the heritage of the town is key to attracting tourism and is therefore a vital factor in supporting the local economy.

Cllr John Pape, Appleby Mayor

"Appleby is a fascinating historic market town and we're thrilled to be working in partnership with others who live and work in the town.

Catherine Dewar, Historic England