Launch of Open High Streets: Transforming Places through Heritage

open high streets

Open High Streets: Transforming Places Through Heritage

Launch of three-year programme of advice and support to empower heritage and community groups and unlock the potential of our high streets and town centres

The Heritage Trust Network, in partnership with Locality and the Architectural Heritage Fund, is delighted to announce a new three-year programme of capacity building workshops to support historic high streets projects – Open High Streets: Transforming Places Through Heritage. The England-wide programme is part of the Architectural Heritage Fund’s Transforming Places Through Heritage initiative and sits within the Government’s overall £3.6 billion of high streets funding.

The launch of the northern network will take place at Halifax’s incredible Piece Hall on Thursday 26th March 2020. The focus is to support, help and develop groups to deliver projects that restore and re-purpose historic buildings with sustainable new uses – to revitalise our high streets and town centres and strengthen our communities. Reusing historic buildings and increasing the diversity and volume of activities in our town centres will also be a significant means of adapting how we live in response to the climate emergency.

The events will feature inspiring case studies, expert mentor support and advice from funders such as the Architectural Heritage Fund, Historic England, Power to Change and the National Lottery. Locality experts will run workshops covering best practice in governance, social impact measurement, community asset transfer, financial resilience and much more.

We are delighted also to be working with Stir to Action, linking to their own series of events on High Streets: Agents for Economic Change. Stir to Action will be running a series of workshops on topics such as community engagement and exploring alternative sources of project funding.

Responding to member feedback, we will produce a guide to the many high streets initiatives taking place to help attendees understand how they can get involved and access funding. The aim is to cover every aspect of a high streets heritage project, to learn the lessons of previous project failures and to establish long-lasting peer support networks.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, said:

“We are thrilled to be launching this brand new initiative that will empower local communities to transform their high streets. Our high streets and town centres are full of remarkable historical buildings with the potential to spark regeneration in the communities where they sit. I would urge any community groups involved or interested in rescuing a historic building to seize this opportunity to learn from experts, network with other similar organisations and be inspired to move their vision forward.”

Liz Bates, Chair of the Heritage Trust Network commented:

“The HTN is very excited by this programme and to be working closely with our friends at the AHF and new partners Locality. It is well known that community-led regeneration is the most sustainable, This represents an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the role and expertise of hard-working heritage and community groups in town centre revitalisation, and to help them benefit from funding support.”

Tickets for the launch event are available now via the link below and are free for HTN and Locality members, who will have the opportunity to join peer networks of similar projects and share learning. Further dates for the follow-up events and southern and central networks will follow shortly.

The HTN would like to thank National Lottery players for this partnership opportunity. The HTN involvement in Transforming Places Through Heritage, and the new partnerships with Locality and Stir to Action, have been made possible by our new Unlocking the Power of Communities project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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