Heritage and High Streets – Which way next? #HeritageChat

The second monthly #HeritageChat was held on 21st December. Its theme was the role that Heritage plays in the economic health of High Streets and town centres – complementing one of the priority areas of the Heritage 2020 ‘Constructive Conservation and Sustainable Management’ working group and that group’s recent workshop on the same topic.

Six questions were explored during the chat. We’ve tried to match the answers to the questions in the summary below, but the discussion was fluid! You can also view the conversation chronologically on Twitter by searching #HeritageChat.

Replying to @HeritageChat @BritProp
Is the fact that commercial properties are often leased rather than owned a disincentive to long-term investment? Are figures available on commercial properties leased by businesses rather than owned?

Harry_Tidge‏ @Harry_Tidge

Replying to @HeritageChat
The degree of foreign investment in leasehold property, largely in cities, surely points to it not being a major issue. Is there something about the size of property ‘parcels’ in smaller locations where they are too small to be attractive propositions for inward investment?

Victoria Donnelly‏ @VadarchoFollowFollow @Vadarcho
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Replying to @HeritageChat
Some thoughts: Regeneration – lack of or badly done. Poor public realm design and upkeep. Issues around access, footfall, traffic.

Heritage Alliance‏ @Heritage_NGOs

Heritage Alliance Retweeted Heritage 2020
The @BritProp probably has a key role here to help work between the heritage sector and commercial property owners
Heritage Alliance added,

Civic Voice‏ @civic_voice
Civic Voice Retweeted Heritage Chat
Research by Historic England, shows that 6million people live in a consevation area yet only a small majority of those surveyed who live in a Conservation Area (56%) were aware that they actually live in one. This suggests a need to raise awareness ‘#heritageawareness

Heritage Alliance‏ @Heritage_NGOs
Replying to @civic_voice @HeritageChat
Would the development of a best practice toolkit for local authorities be sensible? Would it be used?

Heritage Alliance‏ @Heritage_NGOsFollowingFollowing @Heritage_NGOs
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Replying to @HeritageChat
A thriving, well maintained, High Steet is so important for quality of life. Neglected heritage buildings like the below go from being assets to having a negative impact on how a town is perceived.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Rotherham_town_centre%2C_May_2010.jpg