Kettering Town Centre successful in bid for national funding for Heritage Action Zone

Historic England has announced that Kettering town centre will receive funding up to £2 million for its town centre, as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone project.

Kettering has been chosen as one of 69 high streets in England to be revitalised by a £95 million cash injection by the government, of which £21.1 million has been allocated to the Midlands.

Earlier this year, Kettering Borough Council submitted an Expression of Interest for £1,985,000 over 4 years, supported by local groups such as Kettering Civic Society, Friends of Museum and Art Gallery, local churches and Kettering Town Centre Partnership.

The next step is to work closely with Historic England to agree a Programme Design, which will confirm the level of funding provided to each area, and what the money should be spent on. This process should be completed by January 2020, with project set to go live in April 2020.

The funding can be used for a variety of projects, including:

  • Completing essential repair works in historic buildings and revealing forgotten features of buildings by restoring shop-fronts and façades.
  • Stimulating commercial investment in high streets by demonstrating how historic sites can be successfully repurposed.
  • Developing education projects and bespoke events to help reposition historic buildings as community hubs at the heart of local towns and villages.
  • Helping 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.

Lisa Hyde, Executive Director at Kettering Borough Council, said:

“High streets are the beating hearts of communities, with roots that go back hundreds of years. Through physical improvements and cultural activities, this funding will help us find new ways to regenerate the town centre as a thriving social hub. We’d also like to thank the local community groups who contributed to the Council’s funding bid.”

Cllr Mark Dearing, Kettering Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said:

“It’s fantastic news for the people and businesses of Kettering that we will receive funding to help support our historic high street. We are looking forward to working with Historic England and the local community on this exciting project, and we are hopeful for the future prospects of the area.”