Historic England asks people in Cambridgeshire what they love about their local high street

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Today Historic England is asking people in Cambridgeshire “what do you love about your local high street?” as the first part of a national conversation on the future of our high streets.

  • Historic England wants to have a conversation with the nation about what the future of high streets could be at this pivotal moment in their history

  • To kick off this conversation, Historic England is asking “What do you love about your high street?”

  • New YouGov poll shows that 73% of people say that their local high street is important to them

  • From today (Monday 20 September), people can share what they love via social media using #HighStreetLove in a week of celebration about our treasured local places

  • The results will provide insight into what the nation loves and wants more of from our high streets, which are often the historic centre of communities

  • Historic England is working to secure the future of more than 60 historic high streets across England as part of the government funded £95million High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme

From today Monday 20 – Sunday 26 September, the public body is asking people to share what they love about their local high street on social media. Whether it’s the memory of the place you bought your first ever album, a shop that’s become part of your weekend routine, or a place you go to meet friends and family, Historic England wants to hear about it. Those stories will come together to build a national picture of what makes high streets so special and to learn what matters most when it comes to their future.

Historic England commissioned YouGov1 to find out how people are feeling about their local high street.  Seventy hree percent of people said their local high street is important to them, 54% of people feel pessimistic about their local high street’s future and 40% feel motivated to take action to help their high street’s future. And 71% of people said that they feel personal interactions are important when visiting the high street.

Historic England is working to secure the future of more than 60 historic high streets across England as part of the government-funded £95million High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme.

In the East of England there are six HSHAZ schemes 2 through which Historic England is working with local partners to transform and restore disused and dilapidated buildings into new homes, shops, work places and community spaces, restoring local historic character and improving public realm.

New research for Historic England3 shows that 92% of people care what their high street looks like and 90% agree that it’s worth trying to save historic features when trying to improve local places.

Later in the conversation with the nation about the future of high streets, Historic England will be seeking to find out what people value about their high street and their hopes for its future. Having crowdsourced this information, a programme of discussions and commissions will be created to further explore what high streets could be and look like in the future, all with the aim of empowering people to take action for their local high street.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “Throughout history high streets have been our gathering places; centres of commerce, conversation and community. They help make where we live unique and special. Nearly half of all high streets were built before 1919. They are one of the most visited and enjoyed types of heritage in the country, a connection to our past and a key to our future. We know they are struggling, and their future is uncertain, and we think this is a timely moment to ask people about their future and consider the part we can all play in supporting these important places.”

Get involved

The conversation will take place on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn from Monday 20 September (00.01 BST) until Sunday 26 September (23.59 BST).

To share what you love about the high street use #HighStreetLove via @HistoricEngland on Twitter and Instagram, www.facebook.com/HistoricEngland or https://www.linkedin.com/company/historicengland 


  1. YouGov polled 1811 adults aged 18+ from the 15-16 July 2021.

  2. High Street Heritage Action Zones in the East of England: Bedford, Dunstable, Great Yarmouth, London Road Lowestoft, North Walsham and Swaffham

  3. Kantar survey, 4035 adults, August 2021.

To read more information, click here.