Reading is one of 68 areas of England to receive a share of a £95 million government fund having secured High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) status for three conservation areas in the centre of the town. As a result, Reading will receive up to £806,500 for the implementation of a four-year programme agreed with Historic England. This amount will be match funded by Reading Borough Council. You can read more here.
In advance of the wider cultural programme, Historic England offered several pilot grants to initiate and test projects to engage communities. Reading has been successful in achieving a grant of £9,231 to run a pilot project for the HSHAZ. This pilot project titled ‘Re-imagining the high street through your stories’ will focus on the Oxford Road conservation area, specifically the East end of Oxford Road (from Howard Street to Russel Street). The aim of the project is to engage with the Oxford Road communities, to explore people’s real stories of Oxford Road and to link them with their local heritage and rich multicultural history.
As part of the pilot project, local artists will soon be creating art to display along the Oxford Road which celebrates the amazingly diverse lives and cultures of the Oxford Road community and their histories. Can you help inspire this artwork by sharing your stories? What to share:
- Your memories
- Hidden histories
- Anything that you feel represents YOU and YOUR lives.
How to share
- Please send to HSHAZ@reading.gov.uk
- Or you can address to ‘Oxford Road HSHAZ Project’ and drop them off at a letter box collection point at either: LifeSpring Church, 143 – 145 Oxford Road, or Battle Library, 420 Oxford Road.
- The deadline for submissions is 8 January 2021.
Every person who shares their stories with us will also be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win vouchers for local shops and businesses. Remember to leave your contact details if you use one of the drop-off points. If you have any questions, contact the team at HSHAZ@reading.gov.uk.