Procession of people carrying banners
© Lance Tabraham, London College of Fashion
© Lance Tabraham, London College of Fashion

High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme

Four years of nationwide cultural activity helping to make high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

High Street Culture

Find out what’s coming up in our four-year programme of cultural activity across England's High Streets Heritage Action Zones, continuing until 2024.

Find out more

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative, which is currently working across more than 60 English high streets. It's 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.


One of the major aims of the programme is to help people feel proud of where they live. The Cultural Programme is a key part of this. There is £7.4 million available to fund four years of cultural activities to engage communities with their local high streets, and celebrate the role and importance of these historic areas as hubs of the community. 


Historic England is leading the Cultural Programme in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is awarding £3 million. The programme is divided into two strands:

National commissions programme

Our national commissions programme will work with artists and creative organisations across the country to celebrate and showcase our high streets. It comprises cultural programming, co-created with communities and delivered by artists, to provide a creative response to document and reflect the High Street across the whole period of the programme until 2024.

£1.2 million (of the total £7.4 million) will be made available to artists and cultural organisations who can apply to work with us on a variety of commissions over the course of four years.

Commissions for 2020-21 include High Street Tales, stories which capture the everyday magic of the high street, launching as a podcast and ebook; Future of the High Street, in which filmmakers and young people explore the future; and a four-year photography project to creatively document the changing face of the nation’s high street.

More about the commissions

Local grants programme

Our local grants programme will be delivered in the form of grants distributed through cultural consortia set up by local authorities on each high street. £3 million of this funding is being provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The consortia are made up of local cultural organisations, creatives, heritage and community groups, and will develop a programme of activities and events to celebrate the local character and heritage of each location, making our high streets a key place to experience and participate in culture.

The grant funding is only available to participating High Streets Heritage Action Zones. You can contact [email protected] for more information.

Supported by

HM Government
Heritage Fund logo
Arts Council