Redruth High Street Heritage Action Zone

From its handsome Victorian civic buildings, modest workers' cottages and the chimneys which dominate its townscape, Redruth is unmistakably a mining town.

Strategically located where Cornwall’s main east-west route crosses the Redruth Stream, Redruth was once one of the wealthiest places in the world. An important market town in the 14th century, from the 18th century it flourished as the commercial centre of Cornwall’s international mining industry. By the 19th century, the area’s rich copper deposits were also needed to make in-demand brass, which generated considerable wealth for the town. This prosperity produced the richly detailed and handsome buildings which characterise Redruth town centre, along with the terraced housing, shops and banks built for the rapidly expanding community.

How the Redruth High Street Heritage Action Zone will help

Redruth’s dramatic topography with views of the unfolding streetscape, cleverly placed landmarks and prominent chimneys remain a defining characteristic of the town. But the town is situated within one of Cornwall’s largest centres of population in an area with very high levels of deprivation, and its economy is fragile. The fabric of Redruth town centre reflects this. It is in poor condition and suffering from low spend and higher than average vacancy rates.

The award of up to £1.68 million for the High Street Heritage Action Zone will support Cornwall Council and other partners to complete the transformation of Redruth into a 21st century market town, broadening its function to attract a wider range of users and investors. It will focus on the repair and repurposing of historic buildings, including the Buttermarket, to provide new homes, business premises and creative spaces. The Heritage Action Zone will also capitalise on the strong arts and creative scene in Redruth, working with organisations including Creative Kernow and Kresen Kernow (Cornwall’s new archive centre) to develop exciting activities to celebrate the town’s rich history and successful regeneration.

Researching Redruth's rich history

Find out more about Redruth's historic buildings from Historic England's research into:

Stay up to date

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

  • We Love Redruth’ during lockdown, as part of the local cultural programme, Agents4Change and Hedluv Passman made a short film capturing what young people hope for the future of their town
  • Redruth Buttermarket was listed at Grade II in 2021. Its regeneration is one of the priorities in the High Street Heritage Action Zone. Redruth Revival, a community interest company, are leading on the project and making great progress, securing an award of £2.75 million from the National Heritage Lottery Fund in 2022
  • ‘Street of Voices’/ 'Stret an Levow' is a Soundwalk commissioned by Historic England and the National Trust for Heritage Open Days 2021. It is made up of snippets of Redruth’s history, both old and contemporary, collected and reimagined by local sound artists Sue Hill, Ciaran Clarke, and Annamaria Murphy
  • A project to bring the historic Passmore Edwards Library back into public use as an arts, performance and music space for the people of Redruth was announced in June 2022
  • The former HSBC bank, a prominent building in the town centre, will be reused as a temporary business space, and later a centre for the promotion of cycling, from grassroots to elite  

Working in partnership with

  • Cornwall Council
  • Redruth Town Council

High Streets