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12 August 2019

High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Bid

High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Bid

Nicola Hopkins
Director of Economic Development and Planning
Ribble Valley Borough Council
Church Walk
Clitheroe
Lancashire BB7 2RA
Date 3rd July 2019

 Re High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Bid


Dear Nicola

Further to your email of the 18th June I respond on behalf of Clitheroe Civic Society to confirm our complete support for this proposal.

We note the criteria of the government-sponsored programme to transform high streets into thriving town centres through the power of heritage as set out in Historic England’s Expression of Interest (EOI) Guidance Notes. This approach is one which this Society has endeavoured to promote since it’s foundation in 1967. We will continue to do so via our support for Ribble Valley Borough Council’s (the Council) bid for HSHAZ funding alongside your current Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) bid and our own diverse programme of community-based activities and initiatives.

We also note the Guidance Notes’ reference that, ‘Critically, local communities will have a key role in deciding what works they want to see happening on their high street and what sort of place they want it to be’. The Society looks forwarded to actively participating in such a role with the Council, and other community-based organisations, to achieve a sustainable and appropriate transformation of Castle Street – the principle high street of this ancient borough which lies at the heart of the Conservation Area.

Our partnership with the Local Authority goes back to our work with Clitheroe Municipal Borough Council - to establish the Clitheroe Conservation Area in 1973. We have continued to work with the present Council since its establishment in 1974 on similar initiatives within the Civil Parish of Clitheroe including: the establishment of the towns ‘Blue Plaques’, the Town Trail, membership of the Town Team (when this was functioning) and our work to conserve and repair various listed and scheduled Clitheroe heritage assets (including the Grade 2 Castle Gardens Pinnacle, Bellmanpark Limekilns Scheduled Monument and the three Grade 2 Town Wells). This we hope confirms to those considering the EOI bid, you are about to submit to Historic England, of our previous joint ability to work in partnership to promote our heritage assets for the cultural and economic benefit of the wider community.

As stated in our document supporting the FHSF bid earlier this year, we believe that Clitheroe has one of the greatest potentials of any town in Lancashire to become one of its most noted historic town centres. Sir Nicolaus Pevsner identified it as ‘a townscape delight’ in his North Lancashire volume of the Buildings of England. It remains so fifty years after he made this accurate observation. However, much detailed change has taken place since then which has not benefited its character. This bid if successful, alongside that submitted for FHS funding, will be invaluable in addressing this ‘wear and tear’ and securing a managed future for this historic High Street at the heart of our Conservation Area.

 As and when you, your colleagues - and other community stakeholders in the initiative - require any further input from this Society please do let us know. We will do all we can to assist and support this timely bid.

 Steve Burke

Chairman

Clitheroe Civic Society

3st July 2019


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