We're delighted that we have been awarded a £80,000 grant from Historic England as part of our High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).
This funding will create and deliver community-led cultural activities over the next three years.
The Star Hill to Sun Pier Conservation Area, which covers parts of Chatham and Rochester high streets, is one of more than 60 high streets across the country to receive a share of £6million for cultural programmes.
The Old High Street Intra Cultural Consortium, which is made up by local creatives, businesses, community groups and residents, has been created to develop a cultural heritage engagement programme to showcase the area’s history.
The consortium will use the funding to create a three-year programme of projects, creative business training, pop-up commissions and public artworks. More information on the specific projects will be available in due course.
The programme will also provide more opportunities for Medway’s creatives, inspire the local community to connect to the area’s history and encourage partnerships between organisations.
The funding is part of the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make high streets across the country more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.
Continue to tell the area's story to residents
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Medway is steeped in history and I am delighted that we have received additional funding from Historic England to continue to tell the area’s story to residents. The Cultural Consortium, and their ongoing work with local creatives, not only supports Medway’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025 but also supports our ambition to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do. We are continuing to invest heavily in Medway’s city centre and I am looking forward to watching these new cultural programmes take shape.”
Regenerating historic high streets
Emily Gee, Regional Director, Historic England in London and the South East, said: “The High Streets Cultural Programme is such an important – and exciting – way of bringing people back to their cherished high streets in need of love. We are working together to regenerate historic high streets through conservation and building work, and this community-led cultural activity programme will draw people back to enliven and shape these special places for the future.”
High streets are the heart of communities
Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage MP, said: "High streets are often the heart of our communities and should be places we all want to engage with and enjoy. These grants will help transform high streets into thriving cultural hubs, encouraging us to embrace all the joys our town centres have to offer."
Work alongside residents, artists and businesses
Janet Fischer, member of Chatham Intra Cultural Consortium, said: “The Cultural Consortium are delighted to have been awarded this funding to deliver our cultural vision and legacy for the Old High Street Chatham Intra, making it a destination for everyone to discover and enjoy. Over the next three years we will be working alongside residents, local artists and businesses to showcase the abundant history and cultural vibrancy of our area, amplifying local voices and celebrating our diverse communities. We are passionate about Chatham Intra and want to share the richness of our local area through creative commissions, expanding on our incredible existing cultural scene and unique moments that will create new memories of the Intra.”
The funding builds on the success of a series of pilot cultural projects which have held across the country in 43 High Street Heritage Action Zones since last August.
The pilot projects in Medway including a virtual walking history tour, Facebook Live sessions about the history of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the launch of Medway Pride Radio alongside art installations to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and to celebrate LGBT history month.
The projects have not only helped high streets offer cultural activity during lockdown, but also discovered what local residents would like to see happening on their high streets.
Find out more about Medway's cultural projects.
Find out more about events and activities across Medway. Details of the upcoming community-led cultural events and activities will be available in due course.