High Streets Task Force Case Study: Bigg Market - Giving an Historic Heart back to Newcastle
This case study focuses on the revitalisation of Bigg Market in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Bigg Market is a site of historical significance dating back to the middle ages in the centre of Newcastle’s Conservation Area. However, over recent years this rich history was in danger of becoming permanently eroded, with buildings falling into disrepair and the area around the market becoming somewhat downtrodden, subject to rising vacancy rates, and negative user perceptions. However, in 2016, Newcastle NE1 Ltd, in partnership with the local authority, a team of other place stakeholders and with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, launched a project that aimed to give a historic heart back to Bigg Market through repurposing and refurbishing under-utilised and decaying buildings, redeveloping public realm, and introducing events and activities celebrating the local heritage. The project has helped to restore civic pride, facilitated inward investment, attracted new audiences and footfall, engaged local stakeholders, and reduced anti-social behaviour. The case study therefore provides key learnings about the importance of partnership working, collaboration, and diverse event portfolios in revitalising places such as market areas.