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Schoolchildren make flags to launch Skipton's High Street Heritage Action Zone

Dozens of flags are flying in Skipton Town Centre to officially launch of the new project to celebrate the high street.

The flags - and colourful bunting - have been put up on Otley Street, Coach Street and the High Street itself after being created by children from Christ Church Primary, Water Street Primary, St Stephen's Primary and Greatwood Primary.

The children used stencils to create the flags during a free online workshop run by a local graphic designer, Sian Laura.

Skipton is one of more than 60 High Street Heritage Action Zones across the country, which aims to secure lasting improvements to historic high streets for the communities who use them. The initiative is Government-funded and run by Historic England. 

Craven District Council successfully secured just over £1.5m, which will be used to fund a programme of capital projects and cultural events over the next three years. The Council was also awarded £7,800 from the Historic England Pilot Activity Grant for the launch of the project, and Skipton BID contributed towards the bunting.

Paul Shevlin, chief executive of Craven District Council, said: “The High Street Heritage Action Zone project in Skipton will have many benefits for our communities. Skipton Town Hall itself will benefit from part of the funding, to complete the refurbishment and restoration project. We’re looking at ways to improve public space around the town centre, including the ginnels running off the High Street, and plan to bring more of the historic buildings around the town centre back into use.

“Events are also being planned to take place around the town centre to celebrate its historical heritage, develop cultural activities and bring more young people into Skipton.”

“Stories of Skipton” HSHAZ posters are being developed for businesses and shop owners to display in their windows, featuring a photograph from the archives along with interesting historical snippets. Visitors can combine their shopping or café stop with a light-hearted local history trail.

The final creation to mark the launch of the HSHAZ programme is “The Town’s Voice” which is currently on display at Skipton Library. This piece was created by Sian Laura using responses from Skipton’s HSHAZ “Have Your Say” Cultural Programme Consultation in December 2020. Local volunteers recorded selected responses from the consultation. The recordings were edited in order to extract the audio waves and then transformed into a colourful piece of contemporary artwork.

Skipton’s HSHAZ multi-project programme is being designed and delivered by Craven District Council, in partnership with Skipton BID, Skipton Town Council and North Yorkshire County Council, along with creative and historical contributions from community groups such as Skipton Civic Society, Fresh Perspective, Craven Arts Trust and Great Place Lakes and Dales.

Above: Children from Christ Church Primary School with their flags

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