Date published: 19th May 2021

North Norfolk District Council and North Walsham’s Cultural Consortium are delighted to reveal we have been awarded a £90,000 grant from Historic England as part of the North Walsham High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to create and deliver community-led cultural activities on the high street over the next three years.

North Walsham HSHAZ is one of more than 60 high streets to receive a share of £6 million for their cultural programme.

The programme will be community focused with positive long-term effects that benefit the town. This will be a heritage focused Cultural Programme, running alongside the High Street Heritage Action Zone projects from now until 2024. Activities will involve the community in creating events that celebrate local pride in the historic town centre, the diverse buildings and fascinating heritage.

North Walsham has a rich and unique heritage and character which will inspire its cultural programme. Pivotal events such as the peasants’ revolt and the formation of the agricultural workers union demonstrate Norfolk’s culture of ‘dew different’. The town has a rebellious streak running through its history, which will be reflected in the cultural programme.

Theatre and musical performances by professionals and local groups are already included in North Walsham’s programme, as well as artwork created by local people. Community led projects will be at the heart of what this programme will deliver. Events for the next few months are being planned and will be announced very soon.

The Consortium will seek out residents’ opinions on what it is that they love about the centre of North Walsham, and how this can be shared with everyone in town to form a shared identity that the community can be proud of.

Bob Wright, Chair of the Cultural Consortium said:

“This is a great opportunity for everyone to say what they love about our town centre, whether it is a building, an experience or an emotion. Those things that are loved by many will form the basis of events or artworks during the next three years.”

Cllr Virginia Gay, NNDC’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Wellbeing & Culture added:

“North Walsham is full of fine buildings, but it's the culture of a town which brings it to life - its festivals, art, drama, markets and music.  

This award will allow us to celebrate the spirit of our town both past and present and it will bring pleasure to so very many people.”

If you have an idea for an event, installation or piece of artwork that could celebrate the town, then we’d love to hear about it and work with you to promote the great things that happen here, and the positive future we can share.

We have launched our interactive engagement pages at bit.ly/HiNorthWalsham , this is a dynamic hub for sharing your ideas and visions for North Walsham, check out the latest updates and consulting on proposals for the town.

Tony Calladine, Regional Director for Historic England in the East of England said:

“The high street cultural programme is a step change in the way we think about bringing high streets back from the brink. 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.”

This is part of the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ 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.

The funding builds on the success of a series of pilot cultural projects that have run since last August across 43 High Street Heritage Action Zones. They have not only helped high streets offer cultural activity during lockdown, but also discovered what local people would like to see happening on their high streets.

High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme

The £7.4 million Cultural Programme is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative, which is currently working across over 60 English high streets. It is funded with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, and a further £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Cultural activity funded by the local grants scheme will take place over the next three years, in tandem with the national commissions organised by Historic England. For the national commissions, artists will work with communities and co-produce artworks inspired by England’s changing high streets. Together, the local grants scheme and the national commissions make up the Cultural Programme. 

Last updated: 19th May 2021