New Programme Explores High Street Heritage

A Ramsgate project is part of a new national programme looking at the past and future of our High Streets. Public art and design studio Mooch will ask people in Ramsgate and Ryde to create miniature models of buildings due to be regenerated, and imagine what might fill them.

The project is one of the first in a four-year-long national programme led by Historic
England
, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The £7.4 million Cultural Programme is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative, which is currently working across 68 English high streets. Ramsgate is home to not one, but two Heritage Action Zones. The programme is funded with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, and a further £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Cultural Programme features new digital and physical artworks inspired by our nation’s high streets. Commissioned artists will work with local communities on high streets across England to make artworks that respond to, document and reflect the changing high street. The new artworks – including Ramsgate’s model buildings – will also be considered for submission into the Historic England Archive, the nation’s archive for records of England’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history.

“Our Model High Street will link the seaside resort towns of Ramsgate in Kent and Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The project will create scaled versions of key buildings in both high streets and invite residents to re-imagine and design them for display in an exhibition over the Summer season,” says Mooch’s Creative Director Theresa Smith, “Participants and visitors to the displays can study and appreciate the characteristics of the two towns. Mooch is delighted to be working on this project with Dan Thompson, artist, writer and founder of the Empty Shops Network.”

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