This week, Appleby welcomed dozens of delegates to the town’s newly restored Moot Hall, in celebration of the area’s history and recent investments in preserving its heritage.
The Appleby Celebration Day, which took place on Wednesday 6 July, began with an official opening at the Moot Hall with The High Sheriff of Cumbria, Alan McViety, and Mayor of Appleby Town Council, Cllr Gareth Hayes.
The event took a look back at what has been achieved through the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) programme in Appleby, including the work which has taken place to safeguard heritage assets in the town, and how the legacy of the programme will influence future initiatives for the town.
Over the last 5 years, the HAZ programme has brought over £1,000,000 worth of investment to the area. Successes include architectural research which has contributed to the newly adopted conservation area assessment and management plan. Local historic buildings have also benefited from investment, including St Lawrence’s Railings, The Moot Hall, and the High and Low Crosses. New information boards for the area will include new commissioned illustrations by a local artist.
Cllr Gareth Hayes, Mayor of Appleby Town Council, said: “Appleby is familiar with making its mark in the history books. We do not take our history for granted. The Moot Hall building restoration project is a brilliant achievement in our ever-changing world and gives all of us an opportunity to celebrate, with immense gratitude, our unique past, the efforts that have made it possible and our optimism for the future.”
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Action Zone in Appleby has achieved so much over such a range of projects over the course of the five years of the programme. We have invested in repairs of some of the town’s significant landmarks, spent time learning more about the place and worked closely with local partners to harness the town’s rich heritage to drive regeneration.”
Cllr Virginia Taylor, Leader of Eden District Council, said: “I am very proud of what we have achieved together over the past few years and I am determined that the best practice learnt is captured and driven forward through the Council’s plan for economic recovery, prosperity and levelling up – called ‘Inspiring Eden’.
“We are currently working hard to develop a comprehensive programme of projects as part of this Inspiring Eden Levelling Up agenda. This work will accelerate over the coming months and help to shape the focus and priorities of the new Westmorland and Furness Council to unlock the full potential of our historic and cultural assets, to benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike.
“I would like to thank all those involved in making the Appleby Heritage Action Zone such a great success.”