Burnley : News

Burnley high street awarded £80k for cultural programme

The partners in Burnley’s Cultural Consortium are delighted to reveal they have been awarded a grant of £80,000 from Historic England as part of Lower St James’s Street High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to create and deliver community-led cultural activities on the high street over the next three years.

Burnley HSHAZ is one of more than 60 high streets to receive a share of £6 million for their cultural programme. Grants of up to £120,000 have been awarded to local arts partnerships for cultural activity on each high street.

Lower St James’s forms an extension of Burnley’s high street, but separate from town centre, with its own distinctive neighbourhood feel. Beneath the surface neglect lies a proud heritage of creative arts, radical activism and alternative lifestyles.

Part of Lower St James’s Street, Burnley

Our programme deploys multiple artforms in a vibrant new series of interventions. An annual commission to explore those alternative histories; a weekender to celebrate Burnley talent beginning this September; and surprise encounters with innovative art in new and unexpected places, indoors and out. This is COUNTER CULTURE

This is part of the national four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make our high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

The partners in Burnley’s Cultural Consortium, working with Burnley Borough Council, include the Burnley Empire Trust, Mid Pennine Arts, Creative Spaces Burnley, Creative Arts and Burnley BID.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England, said: “The high street cultural programme is a step change in the way we think about bringing high streets back from the brink. 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.”

Nick Hunt, Creative Director of Burnley-based Mid Pennine Arts and one of the partners in the Burnley Cultural Consortium, said: “We’re so pleased that Historic England are making this investment in Burnley’s cultural life. Burnley Borough Council-led regeneration work is vital to our town’s future, and all the partners are delighted to be working together to support it with this programme for Burnley people. Our neighbourhood has a proud heritage of distinctive culture, and as the building improvements take shape and we emerge from the pandemic, we can’t wait to bring that spirit back and help give Lower St James’s a brand new buzz.”

Kate Ingram, Strategic Head of Economy and Growth, Burnley Borough Council, said: “The investment from the Cultural Programme is a significant step towards the revival of the town’s cultural and creative life. The Programme will fuel cultural-led regeneration and support the Heritage Action Zone Scheme investment currently underway to make Lower St James’s Street become a more attractive, engaging, and vibrant place to be.”

The funding builds on the success of a series of pilot cultural projects that have run since last August across 43 High Street Heritage Action Zones. They have not only helped high streets offer cultural activity during lockdown, but also discovered what local people would like to see happening on their high streets. Lower St James’s Street pilot programme, Raise the Curtain explored the heritage and culture of its high street through street artwork commissioning local artists to interpret local research and engaged students from Burnley College.