Listed buildings that have been neglected will be restored and brought back into use as housing, retail or community spaces.
The first 10 places will receive funding over the next three to five years.
The Heritage Action Zones are in:
• Hull Old Town
• King's Lynn
• Nottingham (pictured above)
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said that via its action zones, it would be providing help where it was needed most.
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“England's rich heritage is one of our greatest capital assets and it's time to use it to bring about positive change in our communities.
“The historic environment offers people a sense of place, a sense of pride and a sense of belonging – and it helps millions earn a living in this country.”
Historic England will also be supporting local authorities through grant funding, training and sharing skills as it looks to equip councils to spot heritage potential and restore neglected places as well as ensuring new developments reflect local character.
“Our heritage and historic buildings are beautiful assets that make our towns and cities unique,” said Tracey Crouch, heritage minister.
“They tell the story of a town's past and should be protected and cherished, and this scheme will bring communities together to appreciate their local heritage.
“Making the most out of our listed buildings will help attract more tourists, reinvigorate local areas and grow local economies, meaning residents and businesses across the country will benefit.”
Historic England hopes to award action zone status to more towns, cities and villages over the next two years with applications opening again in May 2017.
“Historical locations are a strong pull for domestic and international visitors encouraging them to explore more of our cities and regions,” added Sally Balcombe, chief executive of VisitEngland.
“This welcome investment will bring back to life historic places in towns and villages spreading economic growth through tourism across England.”