- RCBC Conservation Officer for Guisborough
- United Kingdom
The future of Guisborough town centre may be shaped by the efforts being made to obtain funding for a High Street Heritage Action Zone in the town. The national Future High Street Fund was launched in Autumn 2018 to support the renewal and reshaping of town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability. As part of that fund, £40m has been allocated to Historic England for work to support Historic High Streets, with each location being able to compete for up to £2m through a two-stage bidding process. The funding will be delivered through High Street Heritage Action Zones, which will be led by local partnerships to deliver physical works to buildings (including repair, reinstatement of lost features and conversion to new uses), improvements to shared spaces and creating cultural opportunities for learning about this history of the High Street and its importance to Local Communities.
The proposed zone will encompass the main street, Westgate, from the Ironstone Miner pub up to St Nicholas Church and include the Priory grounds. Garths and passages off Westgate, including Bakehouse Square, will also be included.
On Monday, Mr Tim Brown, Conservations Advisor to Redcar and Cleveland Council, came to a meeting of Guisborough Town Pride to outline the details of the Action Zone and to request support, as the bid must demonstrate community support. The plan would include areas where design could have been better and he felt that Guisborough seemed to have been overlooked when developing National Parks, unlike Thirsk and Helmsley. If successful, the Fund could be used to bring Guisborough back to where it should be. He said that there is a conservation area management plan in existence and anybody can access it, to get guidance to show that conservation is being taken seriously. He thought that there was the potential to increase visitor accommodation in first floor flats above shop premises and in the Garths as Guisborough was short of such accommodation.
Having considered the eligibility criteria, Redcar and Cleveland Council is intending to submit an expression of interest (EOI) in establishing a High Street Heritage Action Zone in Guisborough over a four-year period between 2020 and 2024. The EOI is a high-level document, which will set out the untapped potential of Guisborough as a heritage High Street, building on its current success as a retail location, the historic fabric of the town, the proximity of the Priory and the North York Moors National Park and the ongoing cultural activity within Guisborough. It will go on to set out a vision for the town centre which seeks to consolidate and build its strength through a programme of support for the town’s heritage fabric and communicating and celebrating its heritage offer through a programme of physical investments and a cultural programme. This will be a highly competitive bidding process, but if the EOI is successful, the second phase involves drawing up a detailed programme for the four years that the Heritage Action Zone would be in operation.
A key part of the decision making will be whether there is public support for establishing a Heritage Action Zone. In order to support their submission, the Council has asked that as many people and organisations as possible consider writing a letter of support for the Heritage Action Zone being considered for Guisborough, and highlighting any area of work which they think would be relevant to our EOI.
The letters of support should be sent to Mr Tim Brown either by email at email@example.com or by post to him at Redcar and Cleveland House, Kirkleatham Street, Redcar TS10 1RT. The submission by the Council must be made by Friday 12 July so that supporting letters should be sent as soon as possible before that date.
We the undersigned support the bid by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in establishing a High Street Heritage Action Zone.
The Support sought for a High Street Action Zone funding in Guisborough petition to RCBC Conservation Officer for Guisborough was written by Andrew Hixon and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.