The high street, coming to a podcast near you

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Historic England is launching its four year rescue programme for high streets and their stories today with a podcast series containing portraits of seven of them.

The High Street Tales podcast and accompanying e-book marks the beginning of Historic England’s (HE) £95m High Street Heritage Action Zones scheme with a £7.4m cultural programme of which the podcast is a part.

Through New Writing North seven writers have been commissioned to write about the high streets of Great Yarmouth, Hastings, Leicester, North Shields, Wednesbury, Weston-super-Mare and Woolwich, along with modern and historical images of the places. 

Poet Rebecca Tantony uses online conversations, socially-distanced conversations as well as the sights and sounds of Weston-super-Mare to conjure the lives of the women across the ages.

"Our historic high streets sit at the heart of our communities and form an important part of our local identity” said Nigel Huddleston, the heritage minister. “I am pleased that the cultural programme, starting with this exciting High Street Tales project, will play a part in bringing our high streets to life, encouraging people to reconnect with the heritage we have on our doorsteps as we look to build back better from the pandemic."


Woolworths in Wigan High Street

The cultural programme is the biggest community-led arts and heritage scheme in the country, and the longest publicly funded cultural programme since 14-18 NOW. It will operate in 68 high streets across England, and is supported by DCMS, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Arts Council England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

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