Archive for March, 2024

Transforming Filwood Broadway – High Street Delivery Plan and Improvements

As part of the Levelling Up Funded ‘Transforming Filwood Broadway’ regeneration project, Bristol City Council is seeking a multi-disciplinary team to work with the local community to deliver a High Street Delivery Plan and Improvements for Filwood Broadway High Street, in South Bristol. As Public Art partners on the project, KWMC are excited to share this call and look forward to working with an inspiring team who will bring additional expertise in high street renewal, economic development and capital works delivery.

This work will build on many years of engagement and work with local residents and stakeholders, and it is intended that study will build on this legacy to better connect the regeneration work with local economic development, food strategies, safety improvements, culture, community and public art, and develop clear deliverable improvement plans.

Stage One of the open-call process asks for project team details, motivation and three examples of previous projects. The second stage will shortlist three teams to provide detailed quotations. Alongside representatives from Bristol City Council, the judging panel will also include a representative from key local stakeholders Knowle West Media Centre and Knowle West Alliance. 

The search for a design team also coincides with the appointment of Hayhurst and Co. for the £10m expansion and refurbishment of the local Filwood Community Centre. 

Bids to deliver the contract will be evaluated 100 per cent on quality at Stage One. At Stage Two, bids will be judged 50 percent on quality, 20 per cent social value and 30 per cent on cost. It is expected that teams will be appointed via an NEC4 Professional Services Contract and consultants must hold employer’s liability insurance of £5 million, public liability insurance of £10 million and professional indemnity insurance of £1 million. 

Competition Details 

Project Title: Filwood Broadway High Street Delivery Plan and Improvements

Client: Bristol City Council 

Project Value: £290,000

Commission Value: approximately £95,000

First Round Deadline: 22/03/2024

Shortlisting: 25/03/2024-29/03/2024

Request for Quotation Period: 01/04/2024-12/04/2024

More information

Pro Contract Link: G&R/CPS Filwood Broadway High Street Delivery Plan and Improvements – Contracts Finder  

Blog: KWMC at ‘Reimagining High Streets’ Conference 

We recently attended a conference about ‘Reimagining High Streets’, hosted by Historic England for those working in the arts, heritage, and local authorities to explore how community-led culture and heritage activities can support place-shaping and regeneration. 

The day pulled together best practice and learnings from the High Street Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ) Cultural Programme. This was the largest ever public-funded programme; providing four years of nationwide cultural activity helping high streets become more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time. At the conference, individual HSHAZ projects shared their stories and how this activity can impact local regeneration. 

With our local area of Knowle West on the brink of change (with £14.5m Levelling Up Funding awarded to the area), this felt like a good moment for us here at KWMC to speak with other organisations who have embedded cultural activity into their local high streets to see if there are any wisdoms and inspirational ideas that we can bring back to Knowle West. 

How did HSHAZ work? 

Simon Boase, the Cultural Programme Manager for Historic England, talked us through how the HSHAZ scheme worked. Historic England provided pilot grants of up to £10,000 for initial activity testing before awarding further funding of up to £120,000 for developed proposals. Alongside these grants, Historic England also commissioned projects taking place across multiple zones. Those taking up the offer ranged from volunteer led groups to established organisations.  

Full project evaluation will be coming out in autumn 2024, but the overarching headlines are that out of the attendees of the 17,000 cultural and heritage events as part of HSHAZ: 

  • 82% felt greater sense of pride in their high street and the local area 
  • 85% rated the quality of event as very good 
  • 77% felt more a part of community than before 
  • 76% visited the high street mainly for the specific cultural event 

Activities have also been helpful in training local people where jobs in the cultural sector are difficult to attain if you don’t already have lots of experience. Ben Treadway, a freelance producer from the town of Lowestoft, explained how multiple members of the team all went on to paid employment through the opportunities that HSHAZ provided. 

Inspirational Projects and Resources

One common response to the scheme from those who took part was that, as a funder, Historic England were incredibly flexible, focusing on ‘outcomes’ not ‘output’. The ‘outcome’ is what is looking to be achieved at the end of a project. So, in this case, they were changing perceptions of heritage and the high street, supporting sustainable economic and cultural growth, and restoring and enhancing local historic character. The outputs are how they got there i.e. through the cultural programme.  

Hearing from Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Emergency Exit Arts, this meant artists and organisations were genuinely able to co-create work and could be flexible, changing the activity as needed since the outcome was more important than the output.  

Through their activity as a commissioned organisation working across 11 zones, Emergency Exit Arts produced Hi! Street Fests where a host puppet was created for each location, becoming a mascot for their place. Each host puppet represented the history and heritage of where they were from: 

Volunteers were trained in each place to support a carnival arts procession and communities would get ready for their host puppet by decorating their streets. The legacy of this activity means that carnival groups are still working together in those locations, the host puppets are still representing that place at events, there is a greater appetite for putting on events in those spaces, and community producers are now embedded into Emergency Exit Arts projects. Check out the video below to see one of the mascots in action! 

Hannah Harris, Chief Exec of Plymouth Culture spoke about using HSHAZ as an opportunity to test out ways of working. They ran 17 Meanwhile Use projects (using empty shops as spaces for artists / people to come together). Hannah explained how they realised that local community ownership produces the best economic benefit. The Meanwhile Use projects set out to prove that community ownership will produce long term transformation of the high street. Through this process, they undertook research of every space in the city centre and now know who owns and leases each space. This means there is a live conversation about use of spaces – they are not waiting for consultation on capital or city centre projects, but are part of a conversation from the outset.  

For more information, check out the Plymouth Culture: Managing Your Meanwhile Space Guide and watch the video below of highlights from the Meanwhile Use projects: 

Plymouth Culture also worked with Barbican Theatre to deliver a seven-month project ‘Meet Me at the Sundial’ which celebrated local people’s words and relationship with the city centre. Six commissioned practitioners completed a residency on some of the major city bus routes and in high street cafes – listening and chatting to people going about their day travelling into the city centre. These conversations inspired a night-time immersive event that began on a bus and finished at the city centre’s Sundial in March 2023:

Watch a video of the project here.

They also worked with the local skating community to see the city through their eyes, giving voice to that community ensuring their heritage is included, producing a skateable sculpture that is now touring! The young people also produced a skateable map with Take a Part and artist Chris Alton.

Vicky Holbrough, Co-founder and Director at Navigator North (Middlesbrough), shared details of The Exchange – a public participatory art installation created by Layla Khoo that invites people to exchange a day of their time volunteering for a local charity in return for an artwork (a porcelain block sculpture) to take home: 

If you’re interested in creating your own free, community public events in high streets or town centres, check out the amazing Emergency Exit Arts Toolkit: Putting on a Hi! Street Event. It’s packed full of practical resources including examples/templates of risk assessments, event management plans, contracts, budgets etc. 

We are feeling so inspired and excited to integrate these learnings into our work here in Knowle West. Thank you for sharing, HSHAZ! 

“If you bring the spectacular to the street, people will come out” – Sukhy Johal, Director at Centre of Culture and Creativity at University of Lincoln. 

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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