Bedford Players Trust

What is the HAZ Cultural Programme?

The overall objective of the High Street Heritage Action Zone [HSHAZ]  is to make the High Street a more attractive place for communities to live, work and enjoy leisure activities. It is funded by Historic England through Bedford Borough Council with additional financial support from SEMLEP and BID
One of the objectives of the wider HAZ scheme is to prioritise the restoration and conservation of historic buildings and retail premises on the High Street. Bedford’s rich history and heritage can be explored through the stories of these buildings and the communities that have interacted with them over time. This will form a key part of the Cultural Programme – the commissions delivered will have expected outcomes that involve both engagement with this heritage, and the participation and involvement of the communities. 
The HAZ scheme is also aiming to bring increased use to, and enjoyment of, the High Street, for example through the conversion of premises’ unused or underused upper floors, and through the supporting traffic management and public realm work. The Cultural Programme will support this aim by providing additional and alternative reasons for people to engage with and use the High Street, and through the programme’s intended legacy to change perceptions about the role of the High Street. 
 More information about this can be found on this page
THe HAZ Cultural Programme being an offshoot of HSHAZ, seeks to enhance these objectives by facilitating cultural activities and events celebrating the history of the high street.
Through the Cultural Programme we hope to see a shift in
  • perception of the identify and role of the High Street for Bedford’s communities, to the extent that it comes to be regarded as a convivial, welcoming environment where people can safely gather with friends and family in the anticipation of regular and compelling creative encounters that complement the activities of work, leisure and recreation, shopping and socialising. 
  • how local communities and creative practitioners perceive and increasingly use the High Street as a home, host or platform for their creativity.

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