Welcome to our first monthly High Street Heritage Action Zone newsletter for the Historic Quarter!
If you’d like to view our designed version, you can find it here.
Here you will find updates on activity so far and plans for the future. We’ll be sharing activities, stories and further opportunities for engaging with the various programmes. We encourage you to get involved, find out more and be inspired!
So grab a warm beverage and enjoy!
What is the Middlesbrough High Street Heritage Action Zone?
Middlesbrough High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) is part of a national government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and breathe new life into our historic high streets for the communities and businesses that use them.
The Middlesbrough HSHAZ is funded by Historic England and Middlesbrough Council. It aims to make the High Street fit for the future through a programme of improvements designed to reinvigorate the area and attract investment. It is encouraging arts and community to come together to respond to the past and shape the future.
The HSHAZ isn’t just about buildings and developments… it’s about getting people involved, sharing stories, attending events, hearing from experts, getting out and about and taking part in lots of inspiring activities.
Join us for our next creative workshop, led by artist Jade Blood. Jade is the latest artist, commissioned by The Auxiliary, to make work for The Tunnel Gallery as part of the HSHAZ cultural programme Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough. She is trying to achieve the perfect ‘Middlesbrough red’ for a new public artwork and would like you to join her…
The workshop will take place on Saturday, February 26 at Navigator North’s Creative Space – The Masham, 27 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1RL.
Find Out More.
HSHAZ Community Walk 13.02.22
On a rather soggy Sunday in February local historian and poet p.a morbid (from The Middlesbrough History Project) led a group of intrepid participants around the HSHAZ. After a warming beverage at The Masham, the group set out and were led around the zone, hearing the somewhat hidden histories of Middlesbrough.
With an array of laminated archival photographs, a wealth of knowledge and some slightly damp notes, p.a morbid spoke of the many intriguing happenings.
“It was a lovely way to spend a late Sunday morning… It does reconfirm my belief that you gain much more when wandering around by looking up, above the ground floor, above the shop facades, as they often give clues as to the reason those premises were built.”
John Proudler, HSHAZ Community Walk attendee.
HSHAZ Community Walk. Image Credits : Rachel Deakin
Exchange Square – responding to the past and shaping the future
Archive Images Courtesy of Teesside Archives.
Right hand Image Credit Matthew Ward
As part of the HSHAZ a number of capital developments are taking place. First up, is the Exchange Square. Work is well under way on the revamp of the focal point of the town’s Historic Quarter which is home to the statue of legendary ironmaster and Middlesbrough founding father Henry Bolckow.
The HSHAZ – focused on the Grade II-listed railway station and extending north towards Middlehaven and south towards the town centre – is now benefiting from a £2 million funding boost via Historic England and Middlesbrough Council.
The development team working on the major overhaul of Exchange Square gathered to recreate a photograph, just as their counterparts did in 1902 and again in 1987.
As part of the HSHAZ cultural programme called Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough, new photographs were commissioned by Navigator North of the Meldrum workforce on site, replicating historic images taken at the same location at start of the 20th century and more recently.
The 2022 workforce have been joined by students from Middlesbrough College who have been given work experience and site tours by Meldrum.
“The pictures showing the same pose by workers at Exchange Square, past and present, is a brilliant way of bringing the history of the area to life and connecting with the local community.”
Maria Carballeira, from Historic England
Work on the £620,000 overhaul by contractor Meldrum Construction Services began in October 2021 and is due for completion in spring 2022, with improvements including:
- Enhancing the look of the square with hard surface upgrades, trees and planting, new street furniture and better lighting
- Cleaning and restoring the grade II-listed Henry Bolckow statue and the keystone heads from the former Royal Exchange building
- Creating inviting spaces where people want to spend time
- Complementing the architecture and character of the Conservation Area and supporting local businesses
“We believe it is our responsibility to ensure restoration work is completed to a high standard and in such a way that it is sympathetic to its surroundings; meaning the site can be preserved and enjoyed for generations to come. It is always special to be involved in a project which has a history to it.”
Dave Meldrum, CEO of Meldrum Group.