Kettering High Street Heritage Action Zone

Enhancement of the historic environment will have a positive impact on the visual appearance of key areas while keeping their unique character.

This medieval market town expanded rapidly in the later-19th century due to the growth of the boot and shoe industry. The high street is a rich combination of the medieval church of St Peter and St Paul, pre-industrial buildings and the Victorian infrastructure developed to serve this prosperous community.

Many of the town centre's late-19th and early-20th century buildings are historically and architecturally important as they were designed in an English Renaissance style by John Alfred Gotch, the first president of the RIBA to come from outside London. One of these is the Old White Horse Pub of 1901, converted to a Burtons store in the 20th century, and now being repaired and converted to apartments as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) scheme.

How the Kettering High Street Heritage Action Zone will help

Along with refurbishment of shop fronts and conversion of redundant buildings to new uses, another key element of the Kettering HSHAZ scheme is major improvement of the public realm along the southern end of the High Street through to Meadow Road and general street scene improvements within the town centre. The main aim is to revitalise key areas of the town centre by providing a cohesive and attractive high street. 

Stay up to date

Below you can find just some of the progress being made in the Kettering High Street Heritage Action Zone. For more, follow us on Twitter @HistoricEngland and check This is Kettering.

  • Historic England has been working with the new owners of the Grade II listed Royal Hotel on a programme of investigation and repairs. We have offered grants for emergency roof repairs, as well as condition surveys to identify other repairs needed.
  • As part of the HSHAZ-funded community engagement programme, artists were commissioned to create work inspired by Kettering’s architecture. The Views of the High Street exhibition – canvases, sculptures and ceramics – went on show at the ARTworks premises in the Newlands centre.
  • The first section of the High Street public realm works was completed in summer 2022. Additional sections in High Street and Meadow Road were finished in autumn 2022. The final section on Gold Street will be completed in early 2023. The works have been well received, particularly the improvements to accessibility and the introduction of new benches and planters. The design and materials of the pavements and carriageway return the town centre to its historic pattern and feel, and complement the historic buildings.
  • Work on the conversion and repair of 38 High Street (the former menswear store Burtons) has been proceeding well and will also be completed in early 2023.
  • Historic England has amended the entry for the Royal Hotel on the National Heritage List for England. The new list description expands on the history and special interest of the buildings, including the interiors. It's based on recent research carried out by Historic England.


The scheme is celebrating and breathing new life into cherished heritage and public spaces. Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

Working in partnership with

  • North Northamptonshire Council

High Streets

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