Improvements to the Town Centre public realm were highlighted as a key priority by local people.* Much work has been happening behind the scenes to work towards this aim.
In line with this, last year you will have heard that Keynsham is one of the 68 high streets across the country that were successful in receiving funding from Historic England.
Keynsham High Street was awarded £1.1million as part of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) Programme. This programme has been match funded by Keynsham Town Council (£40,000) and Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) who have contributed £100,000 from the Community Levey Infrastructure.
HS HAZ is a partnership programme between B&NES, Keynsham Town Council and Historic England. It will enable us to unleash the power of Keynsham’s historic environment to generate economic growth and improve quality of life in the town centre.
This separate programme will follow on from the Keynsham Phase 1 Programme and support further public realm improvements, as well as delivering on sympathetic improvements to historic shop fronts. Progress on phase 1 continues to date. B&NES will continue to share updates on the scheme as required by the programme.
Further details about HSHAZ and phase 1 can be found at bathnes.gov.uk/keynsham. Further printed updates will be shared through subsequent newsletters.
What will Keynsham’s HS HAZ Programme Deliver?
This heritage led programme will focus on making the Temple Street and Upper High Street areas of Keynsham high street a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and play.
This will be achieved through four key programme strands; public realm improvements, shop front improvements, community engagement and cultural consortium & programme.
Public Realm Improvements: Master Plan
In November 2020, landscape architects, McGregor Coxall, were appointed to carry out a Masterplan exercise for Keynsham High Street. Looking at the whole of the HS HAZ area, from Upper High Street right through to Temple Street (area outlined on the map). The Masterplan will highlight potential areas of opportunity and initial ideas for us to unpack and explore further together. We look forward to sharing this with you soon.
A Cultural Consortium has been set up by Keynsham Town Council, in partnership with B&NES Council. This is made up of many local organisations who have worked hard to quickly put together a £118K bid for cultural funding to Historic England.
If successful, Keynsham HS HAZ Cultural Programme will take place alongside the main HS HAZ Programme. It will act as a way for people to engage with the built environment and development work, celebrating local character and heritage, activating the High Streets a key place to experience and participate in Keynsham’s culture. We hope to hear imminently about the results of the bid and will keep you posted.
National Cultural Programme
We are delighted to announce that later this year, Keynsham High Street will become home to a temporary artwork commissioned by Historic England, in partnership with National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ national Cultural Programme.
From summer 2021, Historic England will unofficially “twin” towns across England, through a programme of creative commissions that will see artists working with local communities to uncover what they have in common. Only six pairs of ‘twin town’ commissions have been announced from across the country, so this is exciting news for Keynsham, which has been twinned with the county town of Bedford, Bedfordshire.
Artists Ellie Shipman and Katy Hawkins will begin a creative community project in Keynsham and Bedford called Public Announcements. The project aims to bring to light the hidden activity and histories of Keynsham and Bedford through designing signage artworks with local residents.
What would you want to say about Keynsham high street? To get involved in design workshops and help shape the project get in touch with Ellie at email@example.com, or to find out more visit eleanorshipman.com or katyghawkins.com
* Through the work conducted to date by the Keynsham Neighbourhood Development Group and in consultations that informed the Phase 1 Keynsham programme, the Keynsham Town Plan, Keynsham Transport Strategy and Bath and North East Somerset’s (B&NES) Placemaking Plan.