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South Norwood High Street awarded funding for three year cultural programme

Stanley Arts is delighted to reveal we have been awarded a grant from Historic England, as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), to lead the delivery of a community-led cultural programme for the high street over the next three years.

Back in November 2021 Stanley Arts brought together a consortium of local cultural organisations to co-design a proposal for a three-year programme of cultural activity along South Norwood High Street. The ‘South Norwood: A History of Invention’ programme will start late this summer and then build over the next three years, culminating in 2023 in a public celebration staged in the shadow of William Stanley’s Clocktower. The programme will be centred on the lives of local people and the integral role the high street plays in their daily lives, as a home of creativity and everyday invention.

South Norwood HSHAZ is one of more than 60 high streets to receive a share of £6 million for their cultural programmes. Grants of up to £120,000 have been awarded to local arts organisations for cultural activity on each high street.

This is part of the wider High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Programme aims to make our high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

“The high street cultural programme is a step change in the way we think about bringing high streets back from the brink. As we start to see these important historic spaces regenerated through building work, it is the community-led cultural work that helps people to enjoy their high street again and also have a say in what the future of their high street might be.”
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England

The past year has brought unique challenges for us all. In response, the people of South Norwood have reached out, supporting each other through these difficult times in a myriad of different ways. This has demonstrated the resilience, heart and inventiveness of our local community. As we seek to build back better, culture can play a vital role in bringing life back to our communal spaces, filling them with the sights and sounds of everyday creativity and invention.”
Daniel Winder, Venue Director, Stanley Arts

This funding builds on the success of a series of pilot cultural projects that have run since last August across 43 High Street Heritage Action Zones. This included Gustav’s Time Travelling Treasure Hunt which roamed across South Norwood during the first weekend in May. Events like this have not only helped high streets offer cultural activity during lockdown, but also informed the plans for the main culture programme. 


As part of the national programme Historic England is unofficially 'twinning' towns, through a programme of creative commissions that see artists working with local people to uncover what they have in common.

The artworks will explore themes of identity as well as the communities’ collective hopes and challenges, culminating in a series of installations, performances and digital work.

Artists Kaozara Oyalowo (based in Leicester) and Jessica Scott ( based in South Norwood) are connecting with communities found around local launderettes. Their project Quiet Down There - Life through Laundry will result in a limited edition ‘zine’ published this July.