Stoke-on-Trent High Street Heritage Action Zone works

Published: Thursday, 3rd November 2022

A number of projects supported by the Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone are due for completion this week.

Stoke-on-Trent High Street Heritage Action Zone works


A number of projects supported by the Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone are due for completion this week.

The project, which is part-funded by the city council, Historic England, and the Private Sector, is set to complete in March 2024, with various buildings and iconic historical locations being offered grant support to undergo a sympathetic and delicate refurb.

To date more than £2 million of funding from Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Historic England has been offered towards restoring historic high street properties in Stoke town centre through this project.

Work is almost complete on historic building repairs to the Crafty Lion Public House on Church Street. Property owner, Solanki Holdings, was awarded £300,000 from the Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to help pay towards repairs to the exterior of the building and convert the upper floors and rear into accommodation. The external works include the reinstatement of a traditional frontage, masonry repairs and cleaning, signage, roof repairs, windows, and repair works to the historic lions’ heads.

Nirad Solanki, of Solanki Holdings, owners of The Crafty Lion said: “Without this grant, the whole project would not have been viable. It’s been so important to us to be part of the whole regeneration scheme in the town centre and improve the high street. The funding was used to support vital work restoring the building and conserving the heritage of the property as well as the internal reconfiguration.”

Grant funding has also been offered to undertake work on 1 Glebe Street, with works progressing. S&T Property was awarded £115,000 towards the work which includes repairs to the traditional shop front, roof repairs, and reinstatement of the awnings.

External work on 23-29 Glebe Street, is almost complete.  The owner is undertaking internal restoration work to convert the property into accommodation.

Work is now complete on the historic Stoke Crests on the Church Street Market building and we hope to undertake external decoration and new signage for all businesses, discussions are ongoing with tenants.

Grant funding was also offered towards external work on 54 Church Street, with works now at the completion stage, and 17-19 Glebe Street for which work is progressing well on site.


Work at Spode building no. 5 will be complete mid-November, as part of the Powering Up Enterprise Project and also includes a financial contribution from the Heritage Action Zone programme towards external restoration of the building. Once complete the building will be used as an IT business space with several companies already expressing an interest. The Stoke HSHAZ has agreed to support the external refurbishment of the project with £247k grant funding (SOTCC/Historic England). Works are estimated to be complete mid-November.


Grant funding has also been approved for the Spode Museum to enable the upper space of the museum building to be brought back into use and for their collection to be reinstalled into the building. Work will also include the opening up of the window space along the road on Elenora Street. The Spode Museum collection is one of the largest and most important ceramics collections in the country and has been locked away in storage since Spode factory went into administration in 2008. Over 20,000 items will now return to their historic factory site allowing the museum to assess and catalogue the collection and eventually make it available for public viewing.

Grant funding has also been offered to the Spode Rose Garden Trust to undertake public realm improvement works in the Spode Rose Garden. This work is due to start on-site in the next month and is due for completion by the end of March 2023. The Spode Rose Garden is a wonderful example of people-led change. Through a creative action project, which began in 2013 a derelict garden in the centre of Stoke Town was transformed in 2016, into what is now a well-loved and well-used Community Garden and pocket park. Working with contractor Staffordshire Brickwork Specialists, the Friends of Spode Rose Garden will deliver a paved patterns project which is an opportunity to collaborate with the public of Stoke Town on tying the whole garden together, through a Heritage Paving project, and planting area expansion, to share skills in brick and tile making, using traditional methods and drawing on the rich history of the Spode Factory, where, in its early days, clay was dug from a marl pit on site, wares were fashioned and then fired on site, before being shipped out to the world. 


The Stoke High Street Heritage Action Zone project runs for four years (from 2020 to 2024) and aims to support property owners with repairs improving the appearance of historic buildings in the town’s conservation area and helping bring vacant properties back into use. Property owners can be awarded grants of up to 75 percent toward eligible works.

Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure, and heritage said: “I’m delighted we’re now at the stage where work is complete on these historic buildings in Stoke high street. Following the conversion of the former Harry’s Bar to accommodation, these works have helped restore the shop front to its former glory and will help improve how the town looks and feels.

“The scheme aims to support property owners with internal and external repairs to their buildings, supporting both retail on the ground floor and converting upper floor space to residential accommodation. There is a growing demand for flexible working space, especially for start-ups, where they can have access to desk space and associated facilities, the project at building 5 on the Spode site is the perfect example of this. Getting people back in our high streets again will help support other small businesses.”

A spokesperson from Historic England has said: “Historic England is pleased to be working with the City Council and local people to reenergise Stoke high street through the HSHAZ. The scheme is halfway through and a number of projects are well on their way to successful completion. We look forward to supporting the local authority as we enter the next exciting phase of the project.”

Property owners interested in applying for grants to undertake historic repairs to their building are to contact the HSHAZ Project Officer at as soon as possible to ensure that they don’t miss out.


About High Streets Heritage Action Zones

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones is a £95 million government-funded initiative led by Historic England and designed to secure lasting improvements to our historic high streets for the communities who use them. #HistoricHighStreets

About Historic England
We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.