Newport and Ryde are celebrating today as the Government announce they have a slice of a £95 million heritage boost for high streets in 69 towns across the country.
£1.4 million for Newport
In Newport, supported by local shops and businesses, a partnership of Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council, the Isle of Wight Council and Newport Business Association has been successful in winning £700,000 from Historic England. Alongside contributions from partners, incuding the Isle of Wight Council, this goes towards a total project of £1.4 million for Newport’s High Street and town centre.
£960,000 for Ryde
Ryde Business Association and Ryde Town Council have had similar success with a grant of £480,000 that alongside partner funds will contribute towards a total of £960,000 to be spent on Ryde’s historic High Street and town centre heritage.
Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has today (Saturday) announced the locations that will benefit from the money.
Helping high streets adapt to changing consumer habits
A spokesperson from the Government explained,
“Increasing competition from online outlets is putting high streets across the country under growing pressure. As part of the Government’s drive to help high streets adapt to changing consumer habits, the £95 million funding will provide a welcome boost that will breathe new life into historic buildings and areas in our towns and cities.
“The initiative will be funded by combining £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.”
Lilley: Attracting future commercial investment
Cllr Michael Lilley, Mayor of the City of Ryde said:
“The investment builds on the successful Heritage Action Zones programme, run by Historic England, and will turn empty and underused buildings into creative spaces, offices, retail outlets and housing to support wider regeneration in the 69 successful areas by attracting future commercial investment.”
Zoe Thompson, chair of Ryde Business Association and chair of Ryde Regeneration Working Group said:
“It is fantastic news that Ryde has got through to the next stage. We were able to base the bid on community feedback from the vast amount of consultation over the years. High Streets across the UK have felt the strain, so to have additional money to improve Ryde for everyone who lives, works and visits here is very exciting.
“We have seen how collaboration can work successfully, and look forward to now working with the Isle of Wight Council, Ryde Town Council and other stakeholders to bring this project to fruition.”
Jones Evans: Unlocking the potential of County Town
Cllr Julie Jones Evans, Chair of Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council said:
“We would like to thank Historic England for their recent panel visit to the Isle of Wight and for recognising the depth and breadth of Newport’s heritage. We are excited to be chosen as an area to take forward with funding.
“We have been inspired by the work done by Historic England in Kings Lynn and Derby and other action zones and we are really looking forward to developing a strong relationship with HE to unlock the potential of the County Town of the Isle of Wight by bringing its historic story to the forefront of regeneration plans for the Island.
“We have strong partnership working in Newport and we recognise that this funding is a key first step towards economic regeneration of our high street and will provide a lasting legacy and foundation for transformational change. Our plans include utilising the HE Streets for all principles, shop front improvements as well maximising benefits from the cultural programme.”
Gee: Heritage a great catalyst for positive change
Emily Gee, Historic England Regional Director for London and the South East said:
“We are delighted that the High Street Heritage Action Zones announced today mean that the historic character and local commitment to Ryde and Newport high streets are being harnessed for regeneration.
“Through partnerships like these, heritage can be a great catalyst for positive change and we look forward to working with the people and businesses of the Isle of Wight to deliver these projects together for the future of the place.”
She went on to say,
“I am delighted to hear this great news. Ryde has a great heritage and we need to celebrate this. This recognition will enable us to regenerate our town and start a programme of bringing our high street back to its former glory.
“This has been a real community team effort and I wish to thank everyone at Ryde Town Council, Isle of Wight Council, Ryde Business Association and Ryde Society that worked collaboratively on Ryde’s submission.”
Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
“Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.
“It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world.
“This £95 million will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit.”
The funding will be used for a variety of projects, including:
- To complete essential repair works in historic buildings and reveal hidden and forgotten features of buildings by restoring shop-fronts and façades.
- Stimulate commercial investment in high streets by demonstrating how historic sites can be successfully repurposed.
- Develop education projects and bespoke events to help reposition historic buildings as community hubs at the heart of local towns and villages.
- Help address the UK wide skills shortage of heritage professionals in expert fields like stonemasonry and conservation by providing local property owners, residents and businesses with the opportunity to train in these areas.
Communities Secretary of State Robert Jenrick said:
“I want to make sure the nation’s high streets continue to be at the heart of local communities.
“Today’s funding, part of the £3.6 billion we have committed to helping towns across the country, will revitalise much-loved historic buildings, helping to reverse the decline of our town centres.
“Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in our biggest cities, is a priority of this Government in our mission to ‘level up’ the regions.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said:
“We are doubling funding to nearly £100 million to revitalise our heritage high streets, ensuring they remain at the heart of our communities for years to come.
“This will help places across the country – from South Norwood to Scarborough – protect their treasured historic buildings and support local economies to thrive.”
Historic England’s Chief Executive, Duncan Wilson said:
“Our high streets are the beating hearts of our communities. Many have roots that go back hundreds of years. Their historic buildings and distinctive character tell the story of how our towns and cities have changed over time. They are places where people come together to socialise, shop, run businesses and be part of their local community, but now they face an uncertain future.
“Through physical improvements and cultural activities, we will work with partners to find new ways to regenerate our high streets. It is a challenge, but with our experience and track record, as well as the knowledge and passion of local councils, businesses and community groups our historic high streets can be thriving social hubs once more.”