York: City Centre Keyhole Surgery
Increasing the Capacity and Performance
of Historic Centres

Thursday 27th June 2019, Friargate Meeting House, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9RL 


Inserting large scale mixed-use development into historic centres requires understanding, imagination and confidence. The all-embracing, all-or-nothing masterplan can work, but too often results in uncomfortable juxtapositions, poor economic performance or even complete failure.  Intelligent masterplanning allows corrections and adaptations over implementation phases to accommodate evolving understanding, exploit unexpected opportunities and respond to changing circumstances and expectations. All without undermining viability, compromising design quality or harming heritage assets.
York’s rich history represents centuries of urban evolution that continues today. This seminar and city exploration will interrogate plans for the future and the development that these are stimulating. 
Participants will hear from the City of York's Archaeologist, City officers leading the renovation of the Guildhall and Castle Gateway major projects and the masterplanners of Castle Gateway and York Central.  They will learn how community representatives have come together to define community briefs for new places. The walking tour, led by City officers, will set these places firmly in their historical context.
The Guildhall is part of York’s most prestigious and historically significant complex, comprising Grade I, II* and II listed buildings built around the 15th century hall and riverside meeting room. It has been the seat of civic governance since the 1200s, and yet has seen minimal maintenance since 1942 bombing raids. A renovation project will bring the Guildhall’s historic role into the 21st century with new office space, greater community use and green technology.

Castle Gateway is described by the community conversation platform My Future York as "... an opportunity to identify new future uses, buildings and public space with the overall aim to create a part of York that is valued, well-used and loved."  Regeneration will create retail, leisure and residential facilities, to complement and reinforce the vitality of the city centre. It will also enhance the setting of Clifford's Tower and the quality of public space and accessibility throughout the area. 
York Central, west of the city’s railway station and contained by rail lines, is one of the largest brownfield regeneration sites in England. With the National Railway Museum, private housing and businesses, the new neighbourhood has been designated a UK Government Housing and Enterprise Zone.
9.30am            Tea and coffee on arrival
9.45am            Welcome, David Warburton, Head of Regeneration Programmes (York Central and Guildhall complex), City of York Council City of York Council & Louise Thomas, HTVF Director
10am               York: A Unique Heritage Context, Peter Gouldsborough, York Civic Trust
10.30am          Hungate and major city centre projects, John Oxley, City Archaeologist, City of York Council
10.50am       The Significance of the York Guildhall project, David Warburton, City of York Council
11.10am       York Central, Jason Syrett, Partner, Allies and Morrison
11.40am       Q&A followed by tea and coffee
12pm            Drawing out the Meaning of Place: York Castle Gateway
·         Castle Gateway Context and Objectives, Andy Kerr, Head of Regeneration Programmes (Castle Gateway and City Centre), City of York Council
·         Masterplanning the Castle Gateway, Francis Glare, Head of Urbanism, BDP
·         From Plan to Delivery – realising the vision for the Castle Gateway, Andy Kerr
12.45pm       Q&A followed by lunch
1.45pm           Community Engagement: My Future York, Dr Helen Graham, Leeds University and Phil Bixby, Constructive Individuals
2.15pm            Walking tour around York city centre
4.30pm            Close
This event counts as 5 hours of CPD. Join the HTVF now and save money - see for details.  This event is supported by:

Buxton: Resilient Cultural Heritage & the Role of the Visitor Economy

Thursday 17th October 2019 (please note new date)
University of Derby, Devonshire Road, Buxton, SK17 6RY

Tickets £35-155
Rescheduled from earlier this year, this unique seminar-walking tour will look at how a heritage and tourism-led regeneration strategy for the historic town of Buxton is about to deliver a newly redeveloped and restored Buxton Crescent hotel, spa and Pump Room.

Exploring this key aspect of Buxton’s Visitor Economy Strategy and tourism plans for the wider Peak District, this is an opportunity to learn more from some of those directly involved in the heritage projects - including the local authority High Peak Borough Council, the University of Derby, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, Historic England, the developer The Osborne Group and more. The event includes visiting many buildings that fell into disuse between 1970-2000 and have since undergone regeneration:
·         the spectacular Devonshire Dome originally completed in 1789 as The Great Stables and later became part of the Devonshire Royal Hospital, offering hydrotherapy for the sick of the Lancashire cotton mill towns. More recently, it has been successfully converted for use as a new campus for the University of Derby.  It has the largest unsupported dome in Europe - beating the Pantheon and St Peter's Basilica in Rome, and St Paul's Cathedral in London;
·         the iconic Grade I-listed Georgian Crescent - one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the country, and one of the earliest complexes incorporating purpose-built hotels in the UK. Built by the 5th Duke of Devonshire in the 1780s, it established Buxton as a fashionable Georgian spa town for visitors;
·         the serene Grade II-listed Pump Room built in 1894 for the 7th Duke of Devonshire to take the waters - due to overcrowding at the Natural Baths; and
·         the Natural Baths, which evolved over many centuries and occupy the site of ancient Roman Baths situated over the main mineral water spring, with the current building built in 1853 and altered in the 1920s.

Each of these historic places now have new uses and occupiers, thanks to public sector funding including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, D2N2 LEP, Historic England and the local authorities together with private investment, and all are soon to be open to the public.

Topics will include:

·         Developing a heritage-led regeneration strategy

·         Developing a strategic tourism market including towns, their natural assets and landscape settings

·         How the Buxton Visitor Economy Strategy has been developed

·         Delivering the vision to restore Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa

·         The significance of heritage assets in the visitor economy.

This event is being generously sponsored by High Peak Borough Council, the University of Derby, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, and Buxton Crescent Hotel & Thermal Spa Company.


9:30am          Tea and coffee on arrival
9.45am          Welcome, Sarah Rawlinson Head of Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism, University of Derby & Louise Thomas, Director, HTVF
10am             Introduction to Buxton and its heritage challenges and regeneration, Richard Tuffrey, Special Advisor, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and formerly Conservation Officer, High Peak Borough Council

10.30am        Cultural Tourism – Buxton’s big opportunity! James Berresford, Chair, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and formerly Chief Executive, VisitEngland

11am             Q&A followed by tea/coffee

11:30am        The challenge and scope for Cultural Heritage-led Regeneration – Historic England’s perspective, Louise Brennan, Regional Director Midlands, Historic England

12pm            The role of Historic Buildings and the Visitor Economy – the Developer’s perspective, Trevor Osborne, Chair, The Osborne Group and Director, Buxton Crescent Hotel and Thermal Spa Company

12:30pm        Q&A followed by lunch
1:30pm          An Introduction to Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa, Trevor Osborne & Jonathan Dawson, General Manager, Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa

2pm              Walk around the Crescent and Thermal Spa, the Devonshire Dome, Buxton Opera House and the Pump Room

3:30pm          Close

This event is being generously sponsored by High Peak Borough Council, the University of Derby, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa Hotel.

This event counts as 5 hours of CPD. Join the HTVF now and save money - see for details. 



Forthcoming events:

Writing Supplementary Planning Documents relating to the Historic Environment

Tuesday 12th November 2019, Kellogg College, Oxford

This seminar-workshop will look at best practice examples of how to prepare policies for historic environments, with hands-on opportunities to test successful strategies.  

Booking details coming soon!

Neighbourhood Planning: Character, Quality and Design Codes 

Tuesday 26th November 2019, Kellogg College, Oxford
This seminar-workshop will explore how to get involved in the design quality of new development and why it matters.  In neighbourhood planning, much of the debate so far has been dominated by questions of 'How much development?' and 'Where, if at all?', but far less consideration has gone into defining the quality of development coming to smaller settlements.
While local planning authorities may have the resources draw up design briefs and codes for large development sites, many smaller, but no less significant, developments are being built with little local design consideration, and with street layouts and architectural styles that are the same around the country.
Following on from our previous Understanding Local Distinctiveness seminar, this event will explore how to learn about local character to create better places and capture this in policy.
In this seminar, we will look at:
  • what design quality means and why it matters
  • how to identify key characteristics in the local context
  • how local historical character can inform new development
  • the support now available to communities to develop design codes, and
  • how to draw up design code criteria and test them in a workshop.
Booking details coming soon!

Bath: Managing Contemporary and Historic Design and Development

Spring 2020, Bath (date to be confirmed)  
In association with City of Bath World Heritage Site Advisory Board and Bath Preservation Trust, we are planning our next annual seminar-walking tour to look at how modern and historic developments are designed and managed, with reference to recent developments in this iconic city.


Coming later this year!

Autumn 2019 - Developing the Visitor Economy: Town Trails (locations and dates to be announced)
Autumn/ Winter School 2019 - Place-making vs. Movement - 2 days of seminars and hands-on workshops on how to manage traffic in a historic county town centre (details coming soon)
Winter - Supporting Historic High Streets:  The Ingredients for Success in the 21st Century - Part 4, Kellogg College, Oxford
Winter/ Spring - Understanding the Regeneration Potential of our Heritage Assets, Kellogg College, Oxford - exploring what makes heritage-led regeneration schemes viable, and how to create greater financial sustainability.
Places on all of our live events can be booked via Eventbrite