About High Street Heritage Action Zones
High Street Heritage Action Zones is a government-sponsored programme to transform declining high streets into thriving centres through the power of heritage. The programme is administered by Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. A HSHAZ ‘scheme’ seeks to deliver physical improvements and cultural and community activities to regenerate historic high streets or town centres. It is essential that councils work closely with other high street stakeholders, including the local community. Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England have designed a complementary Cultural Programme for HSHAZ which will be delivered by local arts and culture groups, with the support of successful HSHAZ partners through a newly established cultural consortium group.
Reading launched our HSHAZ project in April 2020 focused on the retail streets of three conservation areas; Castle Hill/Russell Street/Oxford Road, St Mary’s Butts/Castle Street, and Market Place/London Street that lie around the town centre. The goal is to make these high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant - as places for people to live, work and spend time.
The HSHAZ programme combines three complementary strands:
Physical interventions: undertaking physical works to buildings, including repair, reinstating lost features, supporting the conversion of historic buildings for new uses and improvement of shared spaces, drawing on the lessons learnt in Streets for All
Community engagement: giving local communities a key role in deciding what works they want to see happening on their high street and what sort of place they want it to be
Cultural programme: cultural activities and events celebrating the history of the high street and its importance to local communities over the generations.
The impact of the coronavirus had a major impact on high street occupiers and our project but much progress has been made. It remains more relevant than ever for the Council, working with its partners, to ensure that the High Streets HAZ programme plays an important role in the ultimate recovery of Reading’s high streets.
Read more about the Reading HSHAZ project here www.reading.gov.uk/hshaz
We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity and inclusion is the key to our success. Reading Borough Council is a Disability Confident Employer and is committed to the recruitment and continued employment of people with disabilities.
About the role
As part of the HSHAZ project team:
The Conservation Project Officer will maintain the programme of renovating identified properties most at risk and engaging with property owners to help them to restore the buildings with traditional shopfronts and sharing best practice on maintaining the buildings and making better use of and improving the appearance of the public realm.
Working with the Community Engagement and Culture Project Officer the post holder will be part of a comprehensive strategy to improve the public realm across the high streets that make up our HSHAZ. The outcome will be a better experience and sense of place for those living or working in or visiting the town centre. You will support local businesses, the economy and local community and cultural initiatives by creating a positive sense of place through contributing to the heritage of their high street.
The post holder will report to the HSHAZ Project Manager. The Project team and Reading Museum team will provide professional advice to the post holders.
You’ll be part of a team that relies on each individual to play their part to the best of their ability. As well as the colleagues that you work closely with every day, you’ll also be part of Team Reading, playing your personal part in making Reading a successful and vibrant place. Our vision is to ensure that Reading realises its potential as a great place to live, work and play, and that everyone shares the benefits of this success. Our values and behaviours guide how we will achieve this:
Work Together as one team - work collaboratively, with each other and with our partners, and demonstrate the Team Reading values in everything we do
Drive Efficiency - show initiative, be adaptable to change and put forward ideas to help improve delivery and efficiency. Take responsibility for our own learning and development and for reaching our potential
Be Ambitious - be demanding of our own performance – striving to be even better – and be prepared to engage with and challenge leaders in a constructive and positive way
Make a Difference to Reading - maintain the highest levels of customer service and be flexible and willing to provide the services needed at the time they are needed
- Experience of working in a local authority organisation or similar role would be an advantage.
- Experience of working with the public, local groups and businesses
- You will need to be able to demonstrate that you can listen to the concerns of the groups you will be working with and can encourage ideas and negotiate with them.
- You will need to demonstrate good organisational skills and the ability to work with the minimum of supervision
- Have the ability to work alongside colleagues.
- Be able to demonstrate excellent communication in both your writing and speaking skills and be competent using IT.
- Experience in and able to provide advice on building conservation, dealing with planning applications, project management and urban design
- Financial management and project administration skills
- Experience of working with a team on grant funded projects.
- Experience of planning and carrying out evaluation, and managing feedback is also desirable.
We offer a supportive environment to grow and develop your career with the opportunity to put your ideas across. Innovation and ambition is strongly encouraged, and you’ll get a great feel for that working in our friendly and collaborative environment.
A competitive salary alongside a range of benefits including:
- Generous holiday entitlement - 24 days holiday each year plus bank holidays - rising to 32 days after 10 years' service, with the option to buy additional leave
- A wide range of flexible working opportunities
- Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
- Life Assurance - three times your annual salary (for members of the LGPS)
- Season Ticket Loan - a loan to help with the cost of your rail or bus journey, to and from work
- Lease car salary sacrifice scheme allowing you to lease a brand new, greener car for three years. The monthly fee includes insurance, servicing and road tax
For more information on this position please contact Julie Williams (Julie.Williams@reading.gov.uk)
Closing Date: 7th August 2022
Interview Date: to be confirmed
- A short 10 minute presentation to be prepared on a recent project, relevant to this position, that you have been involved in.
- Question & answer panel (3 people) interview based on Job Description and presentation. Interview to last c45 mins.
Please note that the closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and return your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.