Films to promote new funding for Northallerton

A series of short films to promote a new funding stream for Northallerton town centre will be launched this month.

Four two minute montages have been shot to highlight the cash available through a £386,480 Historic England grant. Northallerton is one of nine Yorkshire towns to receive funding through the body’s High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme which aims to boost high streets.

However, with many of the usual communication channels restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hambleton District Council has decided to take a different route to get information out to local people and business owners.   It has made films to introduce the grant funding and its various strands which cover:

  • Introduction to the project and how the community element will work alongside the three main areas it covers
  • Shop front improvements – cash for this scheme will benefit local businesses that have a historic shop front
  • Under used space above buildings in the High Street – a feasibility study will be carried out to look into the potential for reuse as residential
  • Augmented reality Heritage Trail – this will be created to take in the High Street and surrounding area

Made by local cinematographer Finn Varney, the films will be launched on social media and hosted on the District Council’s website.

“We hope these films will encourage people to get involved with the project and help broaden the awareness and understanding of the Northallerton High Street Heritage Action Zone and the benefits it will bring to the High Street,” said Council Leader, Councillor Mark Robson.

“This is just one part of an exciting phase for our county town, with work about to start on the new Town Square project and final details for a £6m grant from the Future High Streets Fund being prepared.  We have a massive opportunity to invest in Northallerton’s High Street, restoring historic buildings and uncovering the town’s hidden heritage.”

The Historic England grant will be match funded with cash from the district council, Northallerton BID and the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Bryan Davies from Historic England said: “By restoring historic shop fronts, creating a fantastic new heritage trail and exploring opportunities for underused buildings, we hope the Northallerton High Street Heritage Action Zone will play a significant role in helping to breathe new life into the town centre and aid its post-COVID recovery.”

The work will be overseen by Hambleton’s new heritage action zone officer, Andy Clarey. The former landscape architect and urban designer is a specialist in cultural heritage and joins the district council after working on a project to develop a country house estate near Leeds.

“My new role as Northallerton Heritage Action Zone Officer encompasses many of the things I am passionate about – heritage, regeneration, public realm and community,” he said.

“I think this project has an opportunity to be transformative for the town.  I will be working closely with local businesses and stakeholders on projects to revitalise the town centre, harnessing its built and cultural heritage.

“The project has several threads including the development of an innovative town trail, shop front improvements and the development of a cultural programme, all interconnected to deliver a cohesive programme of positive change across the town centre.”

  • The Historic England funding 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. Another £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.

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