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New Cultural Projects announced in The Old High Street Intra

The Cultural Consortium for The Old High Street Intra, is excited to announce the winners of six micro commissions which will help people learn about and celebrate this fascinating area through creativity and delving into history.

The Cultural Consortium is a newly formed group made up of arts organisations and community groups and has been established as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone Project (HSHAZ) to develop events and activities designed to encourage local people to explore the heritage and help regenerate The Old High Street Intra.

The Old High Street Intra is the area between Sun Pier in Chatham and Star Hill in Rochester and benefits from a rich past; a creative, enterprising present; and an exciting future.

For full details of the wider HSHAZ Project see Useful Information section below.

Over the next 6 weeks people will be able to enjoy these six projects by getting involved, sharing stories, writing poetry, delving into history, reflecting on past events, creating artwork inspired by the area and celebrating the people who live, work and visit there.

Here is who the six micro commissions have been awarded to and details of what they’ll be doing –

Closer Than You Think – A project remembering the Holocaust as experienced by the LGBTQIA and Jewish communities.  The Ship Inn and Chatham Memorial Synagogue are decorated with fabric replicas of the pink triangles and yellow stars worn by prisoners in the concentrations camps, and an exhibition in the window of Intra Arts can be viewed until the end of February.


Ally Sinyard – The Medway Intra Poetry Walk. An interactive poetry and spoken word trail made up of works from Medway residents and local writers, based on their experiences, memories and relationships to the Intra area. The works will be uploaded in text and audio format, encrypted into QR codes and placed along the Old High Street Intra for everyone to discover, stumble upon, scan on their smartphones and enjoy. https://allysinyard.co.uk/medway-intra-poetry-walk

Natasha Steer and George Atzev – St Bartholomew’s Hospital, ‘The historic heart of health in Medway for over 900 years’.  Sharing historical information relating to the hospital from the archives, collecting memories from people who received care and worked there, including those who lived in the residential quarters.  Then responding creatively to the findings.  https://futurechatham.weebly.com/st-bartholomews-hospital.html

The Living River Foundation – Slice of Medway #Litterarma.  Litter including plastic from the River Medway has been encased into cubes, sliced and framed with driftwood, and will be installed along Intra high street. There are also opportunities to get involved in storytelling, creative writing and building a photo collage.  http://living-river.org/art-and-literature-from-litter-from-medway

Hannah Whittaker – Cathedral of Community.  A colourful spectacle dedicated to the people of Intra.  Windows of buildings will be filled with tissue-paper stained glass portraits of the people behind the businesses and organisations of the area. Visible by day but also, more excitingly, lit up at night to create a dazzling display.  www.hannahwhittaker.com/intra 

Medway Pride Radio – this new radio station began its life within the Intra community.  The MPR team will be reaching out across Medway and indeed much, much further to bring us great music, some fantastic entertainment, a mix of DJ’s and presenters.  They will be showcasing the great and the good of Medway and beyond, including the exciting projects happening in Intra.

To hear more about the projects, tune in to Medway Pride Radio www.medwayprideradio.co.uk to hear more from the creative individuals and teams behind these exciting projects.

For more information, updates and details of how to get involved in the exciting forthcoming projects, visit www.medway.gov.uk/heritageactionzone

For more information or press enquiries please contact ar**@me****.uk and your message will be forwarded to the Cultural Consortium.

Useful information

About High Street Heritage Action Zones

The High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Cultural Programme pilot is led by Medway Council, funded by Historic England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and supported by Arts Council England. 

The Old High Street Intra, (the conservation area from Sun Pier in Chatham to Star Hill in Rochester) has been awarded £1.6m High Street Heritage Action Zone funding from Historic England for regeneration in the area. The focus is on bringing the history and heritage of the area back to life, and boosting the local economy by 2024.  From regenerating historic buildings to helping to engage local communities through art and cultural projects, the project works with local people and partners to help unlock the potential of the local area and make it more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. 

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative, which is currently working across 68 English high streets. It’s funded with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, and a further £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.




@Historic England

@Department for Culture, Media and Sport

@Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

@National Lottery Heritage Fund

@Arts Council England

The High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Cultural Programme Pilot is co-funded by Historic England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and supported by Arts Council England and Medway Council. 

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