Councils and other local groups are being invited to apply for Heritage Action Zone status - which could mean funds and expert help in restoring historic buildings and sites.
Historic England says the initiative aims to create economic growth and improve quality of life in towns and cities - and is particularly interested in proposals that could help tackle housing problems.
There are ten Heritage Action Zones already including Appleby in Cumbria, King’s Lynn in Norfolk and Ramsgate in Kent.
The government-backed body is offering a range of services including advice on repairing and finding new uses for buildings, planning policy and condition surveys.
Chief executive Duncan Wilson said: ‘Towns and cities that were workshops of the world, thriving fishing ports or happy holiday resorts are in need of a boost.
‘Through the Heritage Action Zone initiative, we’re working with local authorities and other partners to help transform places across England and strengthen their local economies.
‘This year we’re particularly interested to hear from those who would like to use historic buildings to tackle the housing problems facing many communities.’
Photo: ©Dave Walsh