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Art Deco airport terminal in Birmingham among latest batch of listings

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An Art Deco airport terminal building in Birmingham is among the latest buildings to be granted protective status by Historic England

Awarding the 1930s Elmdon terminal Grade II-listed status, the heritage body said the building’s ‘playful’ concrete wings and viewing gallery were ‘evocative of an era when aviation was at its most glamorous’. 

Until recently the building, which opened in 1939, served as offices for flight support service tenants, but it closed earlier this year following flood damage. 

Its closure sparked a campaign, backed by the Twentieth Century Society, for the building to be awarded protection, with a petition to save the building gathering thousands of signatures. 

The airport is among a number of buildings to be handed Grade II-listed status. The others are a Georgian cottage and barn in Shropshire, Plymouth’s Theatre Royal by Peter Moro of Royal Festival Hall fame, which opened in 1982, and the former HQ of Raleigh Bicycle Company in Nottingham, which became the 400,000th building on the National Heritage List, which includes all listed buildings as well as other heritage assets.

Historic England said the Howitt building, designed by Nottingham-born architect Thomas Cecil Howitt, stands as a reminder of when the firm was the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. 

DP 232242 jpg

DP 232242 jpg

Heritage chiefs added that the factory was one of the city’s largest employers of African-Caribbean workers, following a successful campaign by activist Oswald George Powe who challenged the firm’s ‘racially discriminatory’ employment policy.

Historic England’s chief executive Duncan Wilson said: ‘The list is a treasure trove of special historic places that demonstrates the rich variety of England’s history. Reaching 400,000 entries is a milestone – it confirms just how important our heritage is and how much deserves protecting for future generations.’

Culture secretary Jeremy Wright commented: ‘The National Heritage List for England tells the story of our past, and the people, places and events that shaped it. This landmark highlights the huge diversity of historic places that we have protected and the integral role heritage plays in our culture.’ 

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