Jeff visits Historic England high streets project during English Tourism Week

Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington and Labour’s Shadow Tourism and Heritage Minister, recently visited Historic England and Photoworks’ ‘Picturing High Streets Outdoor Exhibition’ as part of English Tourism Week.

Jeff met with Historic England CEO Duncan Wilson, pictured, to discuss the exhibition’s upcoming tour around England and the importance of high streets to our heritage.

Since September 2022, people across England have been sharing their high street photos with Historic England on Instagram as part of Picturing High Streets, a project to celebrate and document the high street of today.

In January this year, a panel of judges including designer and retail expert Wayne Hemingway, renowned artist Camille Walala, Ben Hope, Clear Channel’s Marketing Director, and CEO Duncan Wilson chose a selection of more than 60 winning images from the thousands submitted by the public.

These will be exhibited in different spaces and formats across England from March 2023, from panels in Bristol to window vinyls in Middlesbrough, to projections outside The Photographers’ Gallery in London, and on Clear Channel advertising space across England.

The exhibition is showing in Derby, Bristol, Middlesbrough, Prescot, Hastings, Norwich, Bradford and Stoke-on-Trent.

The exhibition launched during English Tourism Week. Coordinated by VisitEngland and taking place from Friday 17 – Sunday 26 March, English Tourism Week is an annual celebration of the tourism industry, highlighting its importance to local economies and promoting the innovation, quality and range of products and services on offer to encourage more domestic breaks.

This year’s campaign used the strapline ‘amazing’ to celebrate the amazing people, places, businesses, attractions, experiences and destinations that make up England’s tourism sector.

Jeff Smith MP said:

“Our unique high streets are fundamental to our sense of belonging and pride in the places we live. They can help preserve and promote our heritage, as well as attracting tourists and a thriving local visitor economy.

“It was great to meet up with Historic England at their new exhibition celebrating the English high street, and I’m pleased that it will reach so many towns and cities across the country.

“But we know that high streets need more support to enable them to thrive and be the community assets people need. Through our plans to reform business rates reform and empower local authorities on planning decisions, Labour in Government will reverse the decline of our high streets.”

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said:

“With spring upon us and the Easter break just ahead it is timely to shine the spotlight on the outstanding tourism offer here on our doorstep, and on an industry, which supports millions of jobs and local economies right across England.

“England’s tourism industry caters for every taste, budget and wish-list. From enjoying contemporary culture in our vibrant cities to our stunning coastal and seaside destinations, from our heritage, countryside and adventure tourism to our outstanding B&Bs and self-catering accommodation, consistently rated as some of the best in the world, there really is something for everyone.” 

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