Plymouth’s High Street Heritage Action Zone has announced today that its second round of ‘High Street Heritage Sparks’ funding is now open.

Local community groups are invited to apply for small grants of up to £2,500 (and in exceptional cases £5,000) for community projects that breathe life back into Plymouth’s city centre. The scheme is seeking projects that focus on the area around Royal Parade and the Civic Square and respond to its wonderful heritage.  

Post-pandemic our city centre is evolving. What could you do, to put the happy back into the high street? What events or projects could you plan that would support its future survival? You may be looking at all that outside space and have a great idea. Some of the projects funded in round one have included a women’s selfie wall competition, a map of Plymouth’s post-war buildings, an exhibition about artist Solomon Hart and a gallery of community art inspired by the spirit of ‘Resurgam’.

Projects that apply for funding would need to enable local people to understand and celebrate the history of the city centre and find new and innovative ways to use its incredible spaces. 

Councillor Pat Patel, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Leisure & Sport said: “Once the dust settles and retailers have had a chance to recover from the pandemic, the high street will transform again. High Street Sparks is giving the community a special opportunity to help shape those changes. A thriving high street is vital to boosting the potential of a city – making it a place where people can socialise as well as shop. Community groups don’t even need a bank account to apply. I can’t wait to see what sort of applications we receive for this second round of funding.”

Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of the Plymouth City Centre Company, said: “We are delighted for the support this project gives to our city centre. We have so many creative people and groups in Plymouth, and we are looking forward to the ideas that come out of it.”

‘High Street Sparks’ is part of the £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, delivered by Historic England, which is aiming to unlock the potential of 60 high streets across England. This includes a conservation area in Plymouth’s city centre which was adopted in July 2019.

The conservation area is focused on Royal Parade and Civic Square and is bounded by New George Street to the north;  Raleigh Street, Derry’s Cross, Athenaeum Lane to the west; Notte Street to the South; and Old Town Street, St Andrews Cross and abutting the western boundary of the Barbican Conservation Area to the east.

‘High Street Sparks’ funding will be available once a year for the next two years and is managed by The Box, Plymouth Octopus Project and Plymouth City Council.

The deadline for applications in this round of funding is 31 October 2022. Application forms and more information are available by emailing fiona.evans@plymouth.gov.uk. They can also be found on www.theboxplymouth.com – click on ‘Visit’, ‘Outside The Box’ and then ‘High Street Sparks’.

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