The High Streets Heritage Action Zones Programme is a nationwide initiative designed to secure lasting improvements to our historic high streets for the communities who use them. It is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (with a contribution from the National Lottery Heritage Fund) and is run by Historic England.
The Programme has as its goal making the high street a more attractive, engaging, and vibrant place for people to live, work and spend time. The High Streets Heritage Action Zones Programme will do this through three complementary strands: (a) undertaking physical works to buildings, including repair, reinstating lost features, supporting the conversion of historic buildings for new uses and improvement of shared spaces, drawing on the lessons learnt in Streets for All, (b) facilitating cultural activities and events celebrating the history of the high street and its importance to local communities over the generations and, crucially, (c) giving local communities a key role in deciding what works they want to see happening on their high street and what sort of place they want it to be.
More about the Tyldesley High Street project
Tyldesley is a town located 12 miles from Manchester- the area was mostly rural until the 19th century, and grew into a colliery town during the Industrial Revolution. Tyldesley features a Conservation Area with 7 listed buildings, with the centre of the town lying between the market square and Top Chapel. The High Street Heritage Action Zone will focus on Elliott Street, the single main route running through Tyldesley, which is believed to follow the route of a previous Roman road.
Tyldesley’s programme is the only community-led scheme in the North West and it is one of two High Street Heritage Action Zones in the Borough of Wigan. The programme is delivered by For Tyldesley CIC (Community Interest Company), a new enterprise set up to manage the project and its legacy. Lead partners Ian Tomlinson and Paul Kinsella, both Tyldesley residents are eager to deliver the project with the community over the next four years.
With funding from Historic England, the High Street Heritage Action Zone will transform Tyldesley’s Conservation Area. Through close working with Wigan Borough Council the library will be relocated to Tyldesley Town Hall and start-up grants will be offered to local enterprises to stimulate trading in the newly refurbished spaces. For Tyldesley CIC also plan to restore over 30 shop fronts and have been tasked with producing a shop-front design guide to inspire the continued sensitive development of Elliot Street and high street across the borough.
Lead Partner, For Tyldesley CIC will work alongside Wigan Borough Council, Tyldesley Traders, Young Peoples Voice, Community groups, Manchester University Business School, Greater Manchester Growth Hub and Greater Manchester CVO.
Catherine Dewar, Historic England’s North West Regional Director said:
“Our high streets bring people together. They are places to socialise, shop, run businesses and be part of our local community. When high streets suffer, the special, diverse character of our historic places and communities suffers too. This is a wonderful project, which has the power and passion of the people of Tyldesley at its heart. With this funding from the Government, combined with the expertise and pride of locals, For Tyldesley and Historic England, the future of Tyldesley’s high street is, thankfully, looking bright.”
Ian Tomlinson, For Tyldesley Spokesperson said:
“This is a chance to do things a bit differently in Tyldesley. Ours is the only North West HAZ that has been designed and developed by the community and we are excited about the prospect of regenerating Elliott Street and delivering heritage and cultural events for everyone to celebrate and enjoy. The TfGM Guided Busway has provided an economic boost that we can now afford to exploit, however its success has created new issues in the town. I have witnessed how the community and traders came together with the authorities to co-produce a solution. Historic England have also experienced and acknowledged this unique culture and resilience in our town too which clearly inspired them to support our bid. We look forward to working with them to deliver our promise to make Tyldesley a prosperous, proud and safer environment for everyone and create a lasting legacy for future generations”
Save our high streets
Many high streets are under pressure as more people choose to shop at out-of-town retail parks or online, forcing high street businesses to close down and buildings to become vacant. The special character of our historic high streets is suffering which threatens the local identity of our villages, towns and cities.
This funding, now confirmed by government for 68 High Street Heritage Action Zones, combines £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund with £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund. £3 million will be provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a cultural programme to engage people in the life and history of their high streets.