High Street Heritage Action Zone

Engaging people with Plymouth’s conservation zone 

What are high street heritage action zones?

The £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, delivered by Historic England, will unlock the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery and breathe new life into it for future generations. 60 high streets have been offered funding to give them a new lease of life including the conservation area in Plymouth’s city centre. This funding is used to regenerate heritage assets, provide community engagement and cultural activities.

Why has Plymouth received funding?

Plymouth City Centre is unique. After its high street was razed to the ground during the Second World War, Plymouth took the brave decision to completely rebuild its centre with modern buildings on broad new boulevards. Though some are now tired, many of those buildings incorporate beautiful detailing and artworks with richly differing architectural styles. Just as York is famous for its medieval city and Bath for its regency architecture, Plymouth deserves its place in our National story as the country’s finest and boldest post-war city centre.

The Plymouth City Centre HSHAZ programme – ‘reinvigorating the Abercrombie Estate’ is a 4 year programme about celebrating, enhancing and adapting the City Centre’s post-war heritage and making it a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and spend time.

Who are we?

  • Donna Maughan – POP Associate and co-facilitator of the Plymouth Community Heritage Network
  • Fiona Evans – Community Development Producer, The Box

What will our community engagement look like?

The community engagement plan will create an infrastructure that supports communities to learn about the city centre’s Plan for Plymouth. It will also help local people develop their own projects and events.

We will work with the community in two ways. Firstly we will target a type of community and engage them in an exciting and free programme of walks and talks. Secondly we will also provide a grant scheme for this community to apply for funding. This will give several entry points into a relationship with the heritage of our city centre.

Small grants of up to £2,500 will be gifted to community projects which breathe life back into our city centre, £5,000 in exceptional circumstances.

We are particularly interested in work that focuses on the conservation area but will also welcome projects that tie in the wider Plan for Plymouth. To find out more about our conservation area please CLICK HERE.

Whilst everyone is welcome to engage with us, we are also targeting a different type of community each year. When we started our engagement work in 2020 we were very much focused on the digital realm with all our work online, this engagement we called communities in bubbles. In 2021 we are looking to work with communities of interest, in 2022 communities of geography and in 2023 communities with protected characteristics.

Our goal is to deliver a programme that goes beyond traditional community engagement models through an innovative partnership approach that develops involved and informed citizens.

Would you like to find out more?

All our online sessions are available to watch again including trail making in Plymouth, burial sites under our city, National Lottery Heritage advice, find out more about our conservation area, High Street Sparks and more: https://vimeo.com/user135296871

You can also follow our project on social media. Project events and updates for the next 3 years will be posted on Vital Sparks and the Community Heritage Network:

Want to apply for funding?

If you would like to apply for funding check out our Discover High Street Sparks Funding advice video and download your application form below.

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