Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) has been commissioned by Colchester Borough Council and the Colchester Retail and Business Association to develop the local distinctiveness of an area of Colchester, as part of a project which aims to enhance its economic performance.
HEART will identify and capture the distinctiveness of the area which runs from the Balkerne Gate in the west to Priory Street and St Botolph's Priory in the east, along the line of the Roman Wall. It will look at locational context, topography and landscape, historical development, streetscape, heritage assets past and present, historical associations and functions. The organisation will then make recommendations about physical and virtual streetscape and interpretation tools that can be used to create a unique identity for the area, by spring 2012.
Michael Loveday, chief executive of Norwich HEART, said: 'We are delighted to be working with Colchester on this interesting project. Similar initiatives in Norwich have been hugely successful with a demonstrable economic impact for both the retailers and the wider city and we hope that this project will really make a difference in Colchester - for its businesses, local people and visitors alike.'
Colchester Borough Council's cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Nick Barlow, said: 'We are working on a road that follows the path of the old Roman Wall, where most of the shops are small independent ones. The project is looking at how we link the heritage of the wall with the wider heritage of the town centre. A lot of that work has been done in Norwich.'
HEART strategically plans, regenerates and promotes Norwich's heritage and acts as a best practice model nationally and internationally for developing heritage as a vehicle for social and economic regeneration. The project in Colchester follows the success of local distinctiveness projects HEART has carried out in Norwich, initially in the Norwich Lanes and then around Timberhill and Elm Hill. The Norwich Lanes project was a joint regeneration initiative with Norwich City Council and the Norwich Lanes Traders' Association, designed to enhance this historic part of the city as a distinctive area. New signage, paving, interpretation, public space development and cycling improvements have made this project a great success. An independent report by the new economics foundation found that the investment of £495,000 HEART secured will have created a potential benefit for the local economy of £16.7million over a 10-year period. HEART has also undertaken consultancy work and spoken at conferences and seminars across the world, including working with the World Bank in Washington DC and the Indian and US National Trusts.
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Notes to editors
For more information please contact Christina Lister, Communications Manager at Norwich HEART on 01603 599570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Norwich HEART
Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) is a private, charitable trust set up to act as an umbrella organisation for all of the heritage on offer in Norwich and to be a best practice exemplar internationally for heritage as a social and economic regeneration vehicle. HEART receives core funding from Norwich City Council and further project funding from a variety of sources which has to date included the European Union, HM Treasury, the East of England Development Agency and Norfolk County Council.