Potteries Heritage Society hosts successful ‘The Death and Life of Stoke Town Centre’ tour

The Potteries Heritage Society celebrated National Civic Day on 15 June with the event 'The Death and Life of Stoke Town Centre.' The tour, led by society member Andy Perkin, took participants through key sites like the Spode Works and the Trent and Mersey Canal, highlighting the town's rich history and future potential.

Andy discussed the changes in the town, noting how a new one-way road system and a local supermarket changing a through route to the high street have had major impacts. He said that what might seem like small changes on their own, when combined, can change the behaviour of individuals. Andy emphasised that connectivity challenges mean the high street misses out on benefits from Spode's visitors and the creative community-based at the Spode site. He identified the area that was included in the Heritage Action Zone.

Andy used the event to draw attention to Stoke-on-Trent’s recent recognition as a High Street Accelerator area by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and its new role as the home of the Office for Place. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities funds the High Street Accelerator programme. Stoke Town Centre is one of 10 towns to bid for the funding pot successfully.

Finally, Andy emphasised the importance of community involvement in the town centre's future and said that Potteries Heritage Society wanted to continue to work with other community groups to find ways to activate the town centre and help safeguard the local heritage assets. The Society plans to follow up with additional events to maintain the momentum.

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If your civic organisation is involved in activating your town centre or high street, please do let us know. The importance of activation in town centres and high streets has been highlighted by the High Street Task Force, which found that 60% of places lack such initiatives. Furthermore, the Heritage Action Zone initiative has highlighted that community-led cultural activities and events are crucial for the regeneration efforts. You can share your stories via: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)