Medway Council is bidding for a share of a new £44 million fund to further transform a historic high street.
The council has submitted an expression of interest to Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme which aims to find new ways to champion and revive historic high streets.
Medway is hoping for £1.6 million to support heritage led regeneration of the Chatham Intra area located within the Star Hill to Sun Pier Conservation Area. If Medway’s bid is successful, and with support from other partners, the proposed £3.2 million scheme could begin in spring 2020.
Medway’s expression of interest seeks funding for four initiatives including the creation of a development framework to guide future development in the area in a way which protects the heritage and character of the area whilst enabling sensitive sustainable growth and regeneration; a re-use and re-vitalise buildings programme to offer business support, grants and help promote vacant building opportunities; the creation and delivery of a cultural heritage and engagement programme to help tell the area’s untold story and a highway accessibility and safety study to help improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.
This is an exciting opportunity
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to apply for funding to further invest in our high streets. We are committed to ensuring that our high streets continue to thrive and if successful, this funding will help preserve the history and tell the story of the Chatham Intra area to create a Heritage Creative Quarter. The bid further supports our ambition for Chatham to become a leading waterfront university city centre by 2035.”
Historic England are expected to announce which schemes will go forward to the second stage of bidding in Autumn 2019.