Heritage Action Zone (HAZ)

About Heritage Action Zones

Historic England is working with local people and partners through grant funding to help breathe new life into high streets that are rich in heritage and full of promise. Their work will help unlock the potential of the local area and make them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, backed by government funding, aims to help with the recovery of local high streets, from regenerating historic buildings to helping to engage local communities through art and cultural projects.

The Sun Pier to Star Hill conservation area has been awarded £1.6m Heritage Action Zone funding from Historic England for regeneration in the area. The focus is on bringing the history and heritage of the area back to life, and boosting the local economy by 2024.

Star Hill to Sun Pier conservation area with listed buildings and scheduled monuments map

Star Hill to Sun Pier conservation area map with listed buildings and scheduled monuments

How the funding will be used

To create a 're-use and re-vitalise buildings' programme

This will offer business support, grants and help promote vacant building opportunities. A specific focus will be on Chatham House and the Old Mortuary building to create a 'hub' for the Heritage Action Zone. This will increase economic activity in the area as well as provide employment opportunities and co-working spaces which will help boost the local economy.

To help with the creation of a local creative group to develop a cultural heritage and engagement programme

This exciting programme will include community events which aim to bring more people to the area and help provide an economically sustainable legacy of the area as a destination in its own right.

To create a framework to guide future development in the area

This will be done in a way which protects heritage and character whilst enabling sensitive sustainable growth and regeneration. The framework will also incorporate a highway accessibility and safety study to help improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. It is hoped that this will attract more residents and visitors to the area and help revitalise the evening economy.

You can get involved

Community involvement throughout all stages of the programme is an important focus for the project team and Historic England. We want to be as inclusive and diverse as possible and to make sure residents, businesses and visitors have their voices listened to. We want to make sure opportunities are available for volunteering, collaborative working and skills training throughout the 4 year delivery programme. 

We held a virtual open space meeting to discuss the new High Street Heritage Action Zone on 24 October. There will be further opportunities to get involved in the coming months.

For more information visit HAZ Open Space event.

Latest news

As part of the programme, we are working closely with Creative Estuary and the Ebb and Flow Festival 2021 which will be delivered in the Heritage Action Zone area. Local creatives from the area have created a history walk film to showcase the area’s rich heritage. Visit Ebb & Flow to watch the film, and to find out more about the exciting festival plans for 2021.

Find out more

If you have any questions relating to the project or would like to get involved, please contact the project team by emailing HAZ@medway.gov.uk.