What is the link between people and place? How can the culture of a town or city be preserved for the benefit the local community? And how can we help make our places more sustainable?

Heritage buildings are buildings that need to be protected – this could be for historical, architectural or environmental purposes, to name just a few. Conservation of heritage buildings is important because they provide a sense of identity and continuity in our fast-changing world, they are the fabric and essence of our built environment and its identity, and they benefit the local community by providing a source of enjoyment and economic income through tourism.

In 2020, we formed a partnership with Re-Form, an independent charity which specialises in the restoration and rejuvenation of heritage buildings at risk of decay or demolition. Re-Form Heritage is typically active in areas that are impacted by deprivation, underinvestment and poor infrastructure. By working with local residents, community organisations, and businesses, Re-Form Heritage aims to build pride and instil a sense of place and belonging.

Through our shared focus on revitalising communities, Arcadis and Re-Form Heritage aim to give local people a voice in how their area is shaped, ensuring that historic buildings are not only preserved but can be brought back into use for the whole community.

Re-Form’s partnership with Arcadis is a natural alliance as our values and approaches to communities and placemaking have much in common. Community-based participation is at the heart of our work, whether it comes by saving and creating jobs, celebrating an area’s unique heritage or enabling people to volunteer in the places they treasure, we consider these links between people and place to be vital in making enjoyable, healthy and desirable places to live. Watch this video to learn how we supported Re-Form Heritage in bringing back to life the historic Middleport pottery building that has had a central role in the community for the last 130 years.

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