Eldon Street awarded £75k for ‘Teenage Wildlife’ Cultural Engagement Programme

New funding will help young people in Barnsley to engage with the town centre

An exciting new cultural consortium in Barnsley, headed by The Civic, Barnsley, has been awarded a £75k grant from Historic England, as part of the Eldon Street High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), to create and deliver engaging, community-led, cultural activities with young people over the next three years.

'Teenage Wildlife' will bring to life the rich memories and stories of young people connected to Eldon Street and Barnsley Town Centre. Working with key cultural partners in the town centre, including The Civic Barnsley, Barnsley College, the Lamp Room Theatre and St. Mary's Church, the project will create a cultural archive celebrating the styles, sounds and social movements innovated by young people on Eldon Street over the last 60 years.

The project, which will start later this year, will demystify and amplify the voices of young people on the High Street, past and present, bringing together the shared experiences of different generations through creative events and activities.

The project will help to rejuvenate the high street by placing young people and their experiences at the heart of the town centre and celebrating the ways that young people have helped to shape the town over the past 60 years. This comes at a time when young people across the borough are facing unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. The new programme will give young people in Barnsley an opportunity to engage with - and play a role in – the regeneration of the town centre in new and inspiring ways at this challenging time.

The Eldon Street HSHAZ in Barnsley is one of more than 60 high streets to receive a share of £6 million for their cultural programme. 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 four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make our high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England, said: “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 become 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.”

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage MP said: "High streets are often the heart of our communities and should be places we all want to engage with and enjoy. These grants will help transform high streets into thriving cultural hubs, encouraging us to embrace all the joys our town centres have to offer."

Helen Ball, Chief Executive of The Civic said: ‘The cultural programme for the HSHAZ is an exciting opportunity to bring people together and explore the rich stories behind Eldon Street. We have framed our project, so young people are at the heart of the activity to help us both remember Eldon Street of the past and shape the Eldon Street of the future.


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