Heritage Stewards: Maintaining a Historical Record
The Trinity Triangle High Street Heritage Action Zone is a four-
year regeneration programme supported by Historic England to breathe new life into a historic part of Hastings town centre: the Trinity Triangle and America Ground.
The Trinity Triangle area of Hastings is an area rich in history and built heritage – home to the story of the America Ground rebels, Victorian and Edwardian buildings, the iconic Observer Building and the beautifully renovated library. It is a diverse community, home to many small, independent businesses, with a growing number of creative people living and working there.
Over four years, local organisations including community groups, businesses and local government will be working in partnership to deliver a wide variety of projects. These projects will celebrate people’s ideas, help them to shape the places they live and work and promote stories about this special, historic neighbourhood. The Heritage Stewards will be an integral part of this process.
This role was only recently advertised and, following an enthusiastic response, those interested in recording and celebrating the built heritage in the Trinity Triangle area have now completed online training.
Heritage Stewards will eventually carry out several different kinds of roles, all involved with history, heritage, stories of the neighbourhood, and will share their enthusiasm for the area with locals and visitors. There will be more training sessions and more opportunities to volunteer in the future.
The first training focused on equipping volunteers to carry out a survey of the neighbourhood. Heritage stewards will survey the buildings, to help get a full picture of the condition of the area and to track any (further) decline. This survey will show where the funding will be best spent to preserve, protect and highlight the historical buildings and features of the neighbourhood.
TTHAZ is committed to Covid-safe volunteering and has policies and measures in place to ensure the safety of volunteers and members of the public. Volunteers will take photos and make notes from the public highway; they will carry a letter to show to residents and owners.
The involvement of Heritage Stewards demonstrates the importance of community involvement. TTHAZ is one of only two community-led Heritage Action Zones in the country: unlike other HAZs, led by local authorities, the lead partner is a community benefit society – Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust. As such, the Hastings HAZ focuses on community ownership of key buildings in the area and aims to create a legacy of community involvement and decision making.
TTHAZ works in partnership with many organisations and community groups and strives to be led by the community. Where other development may lead to gentrification and displacement of the existing residents and businesses, TTHAZ works towards building in affordability.
The Trinity Triangle/America Ground neighbourhood is not only rich in history and built heritage – it has an independent spirit and energy fostered by the enthusiastic, creative community. It is hoped that the programme of funding, and parts of that programme such as Heritage Steward volunteering, will help the community to take long-term ownership of their neighbourhood. Heritage Action Zone (heartofhastings.org.uk)
• Further roles will be advertised in the future.
In the meantime, here is a link to the current role description tinyurl.com/y2437z4z
• For more information get in touch by emailing
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