We thought we’d kick off the blog by introducing ourselves, we are Sally and Martin, Project Managers for the Ryde and Newport High Streets Heritage Action Zones respectively.
Working with partners, stakeholders and community groups, we’ll be unlocking the potential of the historic county town of Newport and the seaside town of Ryde through a range of Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) projects, which will take place in each High Street over a four-year programme.
The HAZ programme aims to breathe new life into the unique island towns of Ryde and Newport, that are rich in heritage and full of promise – overcoming obstacles and realising potential, making our town centres more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.
The Isle of Wight’s £2m government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programmes, are being delivered by Historic England, in partnership with Isle of Wight Council, together with lead partner for Ryde HAZ, Ryde Town Council, and lead partner for Newport HAZ, Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council.
The Heritage Action Zone programmes in Newport and Ryde will unlock the potential of their High Streets, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery for future generations.
Newport, the historic market town of the Isle of Wight, is home to some remarkable historic buildings, a medieval street pattern and two market squares with important links to nearby Newport Harbour. Ryde is an attractive seaside town, but it is experiencing the same ills as many coastal towns, compounded by its island status. Its high quality Georgian and Victorian architecture, reflecting its heyday when the Royal Family were frequent visitors to the island and popularised it for holidays, is suffering as a result.
Sadly, both Newport and Ryde have seen increases in retail decline, empty shops and some buildings are rundown and showing serious signs of decay. They need a lift so that they can better service the community. Rising shop vacancy rates on the high streets are affecting local communities. There is also a housing shortfall in each area.
In our role as HAZ Project Managers, we have been busy over the last six months, putting foundations and plans in place for delivery of each programme, following the successful bid applications to Historic England by our lead partners and community stakeholders. We are very much looking forward to facilitating the delivery of such exciting programmes of proposed infrastructure improvements, grant-funded initiatives, heritage projects, cultural events and communications, which will further evolve and progress in the coming months.
We are delighted to be working with our dedicated steering groups and committed community groups, in engaging more broadly with you all, in order to put Ryde and Newport on the map again, nationally and internationally!
The new www.iwhaz.uk website will act as a central platform from which to share news, circulate information and provide updates about the projects in progress, in both Heritage Action Zones, with a dedicated site for Newport and for Ryde. We will promote events happening in the HAZ High Streets and feature guest blogs received from partners and community groups.
Through partnership and engagement with you all, we can achieve so much more.
We look forward to working with you and to receiving your HAZ news too!