A new fund – High Street Sparks – has been launched by POP, Plymouth City Council and The Box to award money to communities to get the city centre buzzing again.

Plymouth is one of sixty high streets across the UK to have a share of £95 million set up by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund to create more attractive places for people to live, work and spend time. As part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone programme, High Street Sparks is concentrating, primarily, on Royal Parade and the Civic Square within which sits the Grade II Listed, Civic Centre. The Civic Square, designed for “dignity and frivolity,” was integral to the lauded “A Plan for Plymouth” (1943) which created “the country’s finest and boldest post-war city centre”. Today, the Portland Stone doesn’t shine quite so bright and the waters of the modernist civic pool may appear less than inviting yet, the Civic Square, retains its unique mid-century charm. Now, there is a significant pot of money to encourage and inspire communities of all shapes and sizes across the city to find their own distinctive ways to celebrate its heritage and attract people back to the future.

High Street Sparks has £2,500 to fund ten projects a year for the next three years (and for exceptional plans up to £5,000). So, if you have an idea to regenerate outside spaces, empty shops or underused buildings visit www.plymouthoctopus.org/high-street-heritage-action-zone

Image courtesy of Chris Robinson