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Grant of £90,000 will fund a range of arts and 'High Street Sound Walk' in Grantham

A grant of £90,000 has been given by Heritage England to support cultural activities on Grantham High Street.

Historic England has announced today that over 60 High Street Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ) will receive substantial grants totalling £6 million for local arts organisations to create and deliver community-led cultural activities on their high streets over the next three years.

Among the projects to be funded, Historic England, the National Trust and Heritage Open Days have commissioned Sound UK to create a series of new ‘High Street Sound Walks’ available on six High Street Heritage Action Zones that will be launched as part of Heritage Open Days (September 10-19). The walks are each co-created with a local sound walk artist and the community, and will result in unique, immersive soundscapes to inspire people to look again at their high streets.

Grantham High Street (16705595)
Grantham High Street (16705595)

Grantham’s project will be run by a cultural consortium made up of Grantham Community Heritage Association, Grantham Dramatic Society, Grantham Arts, Chantry Dance Company, St Wulfram’s Church and The National Trust.

Grantham: Arts & Exploration will include a mix of cultural activity such as drama, dance, ceramics, fine art, craft, exhibitions and installations.

Councillor Rosemary Trollope-Bellew, SKDC’s cabinet member for culture and visitor economy, said: “I’m thrilled our bid for this new cultural programme has been successful, and delighted it brings the total of funding recently secured to enhance Grantham’s heritage to more than £966,000.

“The Arts & Exploration programme will bring the town centre to life, celebrating Grantham’s rich and varied heritage while also looking to its future. There will be lots of opportunities for people of all ages and interests to get involved, with all activities delivered free to participants and audiences.

“Bringing together a local network of talented creatives and heritage organisations - and supporting the creation of arts and cultural hubs and resources - the project will ignite a lasting legacy which will continue to develop Grantham’s cultural offer in years to come.”

Grantham has also been named as a venue for High Street Sound Walks, part of Historic England’s programme of commissioned art pieces to celebrate the history of the high street.

Artist Sandra Kazlaukaite will incorporate a collage of aural histories, archives and local residents’ memories to tell a story about the histories of Grantham high street. It will explore how the space of socialising and cultural exchange has transformed over time and will question what has been forgotten during the process of change.

She will work with local artist and producer Emilie Nunn to create the sound walk which will be available during the Heritage Open Day festival in September.

Speaking on behalf of the cultural consortium, Paul Chantry, director at Chantry Dancy Company, said: “The Cultural Consortium will shine a light on the hidden heritage gems of Grantham, whether it’s architecture, art, music, or tales of the past. We hope everyone will be inspired, made curious, excited and proud of this fantastic town they call home.”

Eilis Scott, acting Regional Director Historic England Midlands, said: “The high street cultural programme is a step change in the way we think about bringing high streets back from the brink in the Midlands. As we start to see these important historic spaces become regenerated through building work, it is the community-led cultural work that helps people to enjoy their high street again and also have a say in what the future of their high street might be.”

In September it was confirmed that Grantham HSHAZ was to receive £1.25 million to restore historic properties and regenerate public realm areas.

To find out more about the High Street Heritage Action Zone and the new cultural programme, contact InvestSK by emailing heritage@investsk.co.uk or calling 01476 406374.

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage MP said: "High streets are often the heart of our communities and should be places we all want to engage with and enjoy. These grants will help transform high streets into thriving cultural hubs, encouraging us to embrace all the joys our town centres have to offer."

The funding builds on the success of a series of pilot cultural projects that have run since last August across the High Streets Heritage Action Zones - from creative writing workshops in Wednesbury, to a series of architectural sculptures popping up on Grantham high street. They have not only helped high streets offer cultural activity during lockdown, but also test what local people would like to see happening on their high streets.

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Our high streets are invaluable community hubs that bring people together. We are excited that our £3 million of National Lottery funding will kickstart creative activities that will capture the heritage and spirit of our ever-changing high streets, as they recover from the COVID-19 crisis.”

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