TOTTENHAM HIGH STREET HERITAGE ACTION ZONE

 

Background

Haringey has been awarded a grant of just over £2m from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme to set up the Tottenham High Street Heritage Action Zone in Bruce Grove. 

This is part of the £95 million government funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme that is being delivered by Historic England to unlock the potential of over 60 high streets across the country. Haringey Council will be match funding, taking the project total to around £5m.  

The Tottenham High Street Heritage Action Zone, or ‘HSHAZ’, will make the high street in Bruce Grove Town Centre a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and spend time. It aims to build a unique identity for the local area and its people, celebrate its cultural diversity and encourage investment.

The HSHAZ programme seeks to achieve these goals by funding long-term improvements to buildings and public spaces within the Bruce Grove Conservation Area. Focussing on Bruce Grove (road) and the High Road, the HSHAZ programme will carry out physical improvements to buildings, cultural activities and community engagement. 

The HSHAZ programme will pay for:

  • Improved public/community facilities, including restoration of the Bruce Grove Public Conveniences and enhanced facilities for young people
  • Repair and/or reinstatement of traditional shopfronts and other distinctive historic features
  • Improvements to public realm, including new paving, street greenery and signage
  • External repairs and enhancements to key historic buildings within the conservation area
  • Preparation of detailed design and planning guidance, alongside training, to inform improvements and to equip local property and business owners with the knowledge to maintain and/or improve properties
  • Essential surveys and inspections of key buildings at risk, to inform future schemes of improvement
  • A series of cultural and community engagement activities to enable local people to engage with and become invested in their heritage

Shopfront and forecourt improvements

At the core of the Tottenham HSHAZ scheme is an ambition to improve the overall appearance of the high street and make it feel more welcoming through a scheme of physical improvements to shopfronts, forecourts and key buildings within the Bruce Grove Conservation Area, drawing on the unique character of the conservation area to unlock investment.

The owners and tenants of eligible properties have been contacted directly by Council officers, and discussions are ongoing in relation to potential improvements. A collaborative process aimed at producing designs for the work is currently under way. Through this process, residents, business and property owners, and Council officers will feed into the designs, with a view to ensuring enhancements to the character and heritage value of the area are integrated harmoniously with modern needs. The ambition will be to introduce interventions that will make the area more attractive and celebrate its historic character, while ensuring the needs and vision of local people are met.

The property owners and businesses that agree to take part will benefit from sympathetic reinstatement of traditional features. In the case of shops, this might include a new shopfront with enhanced fascia and window display, or it might involve simple redecoration and new signage. Residential and community buildings may be enhanced through repairs to boundary walls, replacement of railings, restoration of lost architectural features or external lighting. In all cases, the result will be an overall improvement to the appearance of the building, making it more inviting. This could potentially encourage a wider range and larger number of visitors to the area and customers to the area’s businesses. It could also increase the value and number of sales.

The cost of the improvement works will mostly be borne by Historic England and the Council, who will collectively contribute at least 80% of the cost of the works. Property owners and/or business tenants will be asked to subsidise the works with a contribution of approximately 20% of the costs.

Heritage conservation

One of the focal points of the Tottenham HSHAZ scheme is improving the condition of and encouraging sustainable uses for heritage buildings that are at risk. This will safeguard them for the future. 
As part of the Tottenham HSHAZ scheme, the Council is partnering with the owners and occupiers of key properties in the Tottenham HSHAZ area, in order to carry out survey and feasibility work to improve an understanding of works required to preserve the buildings at risk. 

The Tottenham HSHAZ scheme will also support the transformation of two key community facilities. 
The former Bruce Grove Public Conveniences is a Grade II listed building on the Heritage at Risk Register, which has long been vacant and disused. With funding from the Mayor of London and the HSHAZ programme, the Council is currently in the process of carrying out a refurbishment of this facility, in order to re-provide public toilets, an independent café that will support the local community and green space. The funding will secure this important resource for the local community and future generations.

The HSHAZ scheme is also providing financial assistance for the refurbishment of the Bruce Grove Youth Space, currently Haringey’s only Council-owned youth centre, which is located within the grounds of a Grade II listed building. Through the HSHAZ-funded works, the outdoor areas of the listed building will be improved, providing revitalised facilities for the youth centre.

Shopfronts Design Guide

An ambition for the HSHAZ scheme is to prepare a comprehensive yet accessible Shopfronts Design Guide for the Bruce Grove Conservation Area. This guide will serve as a resource to enable landowners, developers and planners to make informed decisions on materials, details and types of construction for shopfronts, facades and forecourts. It will also provide an understanding of the permissions required for making changes to properties.

Consultation with the local community and particularly with local business and property owners will be critical to the success of the Design Guide. The feedback of local people will be sought through one-on-one interviews, workshops, open online consultation and dedicated consultation events, in order to ensure that the guidance is user-friendly and workable.

It is envisioned that the HSHAZ Shopfronts Design Guide will ultimately serve to inform and/or form the basis of future policy and planning decisions affecting the Bruce Grove Conservation Area.

The HSHAZ cultural programme

A key element of the HSHAZ programme is the HSHAZ Cultural Programme, which will launch in December 2021. The HSHAZ Cultural Programme is a series of commissioned cultural activities that will celebrate the local identity of Tottenham. It will include research projects exploring the stories of local people and the hidden histories in Bruce Castle Museum’s archives; literature pop-up events; public are interventions; and a walking trail. A particular focus of these projects will be engaging with, encouraging participation from and developing skills in young people in the local area.

The HSHAZ Cultural Programme will be delivered by a Cultural Consortium made up of five cultural and community organisations:

  • Bernie Grant Art Centre
  • North London Community House
  • Bruce Grove Youth Space
  • Bruce Castle Museum
  • Haringey Shed

Local residents, businesses and communities will be encouraged to take part in the HSHAZ Cultural Programme activities: the first step in the programme will be a community audit, which will actively seek out marginalised or hidden voices to unlock how they want to see the High Road change and their views on the creative outcomes. Local artists, writers, producers (including a young producer), informed by feedback from community consultation, will lead on the activities of the Cultural Programme.

Timeline 

The Tottenham HSHAZ programme will run until March 2024.

Get Involved

For all the latest updates on this project, visit the HSHAZ Commonplace website (external link).