High Streets Heritage Action Zone bids

On 12th July 2019 Mole Valley District Council submitted two bids to the High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, for Dorking and Leatherhead.Thank you to everyone who showed their support.

What is the High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme?

In May 2019 Historic England launched a new £44 million fund which will allow them to work with partners to find new ways to champion and revive our historic high streets.

This new fund will deliver a four year programme to regenerate England's struggling historic High Streets and town centres through:

  • physical improvements
  • community engagement
  • cultural activities

Historic England are now accepting expressions of interest and MVDC is applying on behalf of two of its historic town centres - Dorking and Leatherhead.

Dorking proposals

The centre-piece for the Dorking Heritage Action Zone proposal is a collaborative project between Mole Valley District Council and Dorking Museum, involving the redevelopment of the derelict and unoccupied commercial garage adjoining the current Museum premises. The objective, if successful, is to create a hub for a range of cultural activities aimed at engaging diverse audiences and increasing public participation in history as well as offering social, recreational and educational opportunities for the community. This is designed to benefit the Dorking economy and the regeneration of the Museum Quarter that lies between West Street, Church Street and North Street. Other initiatives proposed include a revamping of the heritage trail, a shop-fronts improvement grant scheme and public realm works for the town centre.

Leatherhead proposals

The focus of the Leatherhead Heritage Action Zone proposal is on key buildings and measures that maximise their community value and contribution to a vibrant conservation area. This includes the Leatherhead Theatre where proposals are designed to improve the presence of the theatre in the street scene and make the entrance inviting. There is also scope to make the building suitable to a variety of arts, commercial and leisure uses. Also included is the Church of St Mary and St Nicholas, Leatherhead’s oldest building, where a project to repair and reorder the building sensitively would create potential to use this historic building for a variety of community purposes in addition to formal worship. The third key building is the Leatherhead Institute where funding would be used to enhance the facilities for community benefit and tackle repair of the external fabric of this important landmark. Other projects proposed include public realm improvements, a shopfront improvements scheme, creative lighting and upgrading of pedestrian passageways such as Neates and King’s Head alleys.

More information on how the scheme will work can be found online here: https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/regenerating-historic-high-streets/

Last Updated: 15/08/2019

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