COVENTRY has received £97,500 to help it build on its tenure as the 2021 UK City of Culture by putting on activities, including shop window art commissions, an annual festival, ‘First Friday’ monthly gatherings and immersive experiences.
The cash has come from Historic England which has today announced 60 High Street Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ) will receive substantial grants totalling £6million for local arts organisations to create and deliver community-led cultural events in the next three years.
It is part of a four-year-long 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 more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.
Eilis Scott, acting Regional Director Historic England Midlands, said: “The high street cultural programme is a step change in the way we think about bringing high streets back from the brink in the Midlands.
“As we start to see these important historic spaces become regenerated through building work, it is the community-led cultural work that helps people to enjoy their high street again and also have a say in what the future of their high street might be.”
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.”
The funding builds on the success of a series of pilot cultural projects that have run since last August across the High Streets Heritage Action Zones – from creative writing workshops in Wednesbury, to a series of architectural sculptures popping up on Grantham high street.
They have not only helped high streets offer cultural activity during lockdown, but also test what local people would like to see happening on their high streets.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Our high streets are invaluable community hubs that bring people together.
“We are excited that our £3million of National Lottery funding will kickstart creative activities that will capture the heritage and spirit of our ever-changing high streets, as they recover from the Covid-19 crisis.”