A high street building photographed before and after restoration. On the left, the building has white painted render and on the right, the render has been removed to reveal old brick.
24-25 The Burges, Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone, before and after renovation © Historic England
24-25 The Burges, Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone, before and after renovation © Historic England

The Burges, Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone

Restoring and regenerating a forgotten part of Coventry’s historic townscape, boosting the local economy and celebrating the city’s rich heritage.

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The Burges area forms a key element of Coventry’s surviving historic townscape and includes three streets: The Burges, Palmer Lane and Hales Street, all of which lie within the Lady Herbert’s Garden Conservation Area.

Buildings on The Burges and Hales Street date from the late medieval period through to the 19th century. Palmer Lane is also a medieval street which runs alongside Coventry’s forgotten river, The Sherbourne.

The Burges area has survived many changes over time, from those made by city planners and architects in the 1930s to the devastation of the Coventry Blitz during the Second World War and the subsequent redevelopment of the city in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lack of investment in recent decades has seen the area decline, with the conservation area being added to Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.

The Burges, Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone received a 2021 Summer Award from the Future Cities Forum, for “boosting the local economy and engaging directly and successfully with the community”.

How the Burges, Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone will help

The properties on the Burges and Hales Street comprise one of the few remaining intact parts of the city to survive the impacts of war and subsequent development, yet the layers of history can’t be easily seen and the decline of the area means it remains a focus for anti-social behaviour. The High Street Heritage Action Zone project will help to reverse this decline by enhancing the special character of the conservation area, attracting more business and visitors and raising awareness of the area’s heritage within the local community.

Actions will include:

  • Repairs to buildings, including reinstatement of lost architectural and historical details
  • Boosting the local economy by encouraging more diverse business activity and employment opportunities
  • Improvements to public spaces through opening up the River Sherbourne and creating a new heritage square to benefit local people
  • Engaging with the local community to celebrate Coventry’s history, helping to develop civic pride in a rediscovered area of the city.

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Working in partnership with

  • Historic Coventry Trust
  • Coventry City Council

High Streets

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