Historic High Streets

We have been involved in the development, delivery or evaluation of over 30 Townscape Heritage Initiative schemes across the UK and recently supported Historic England and their applicants in the programme development stage for the High Street Heritage Action Zone. This has given us a unique background in ‘seeing what works’ and a detailed understanding of how to develop applications and programmes for delivery, including risk management and engagement with stakeholders and the wider public.

Identifying heritage need

Understanding the issues and how regeneration could make the difference is key to scheme development. Our range of services include:

  • Identifying ‘heritage need’ & justifying ‘Why here? Why now?’
  • Condition and ‘building at risk’ surveys
  • Costings of repairs, reinstatement of historic features and new uses
  • Valuations to support grant intervention rates
  • Prioritisation of buildings and tasks
We carried out a condition survey as part of the development phase for the Dudley Townscape Heritage scheme to highlight the buildings needing repairs or the reinstatement of historic details, vacant floorspace and the urgency of works

Putting people at the heart of projects

We know that successful schemes rely on communities engaging with their heritage and can help with:

  • Getting to know your audiences
  • Developing community consultation
  • Planning creative heritage experiences
  • Town trails and heritage walks
  • Supporting skills and leading training development
  • Building evaluation tools
  • Writing and researching Community Engagement Plans
The development of Activities for Gainsborough's Townscape Heritage Project involved children creating a banner showcasing their historic high street for the town's Festival of Light. Photo credit: Wendy Osgodby

Evaluating & adapting programmes

To ensure the Outcomes and Outputs of any project can be effectively measured, we can offer support with:

  • Setting baselines for monitoring progress and results
  • Training for project officers and volunteers
  • Undertaking condition surveys of physical outputs 
  • Perception surveys of change for communities and stakeholders 
  • Interim and final evaluations in accordance with NLHF or Historic England requirements
An evaluation carried out in Keighley in 2017 highlighed the successes and lessons learned for this Townscape Heritage Initiative which included surveys of the public realm, building repairs and the reinstatement of shopfronts