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Middlesbrough Town Hall

Community activities within Middlesbrough HSHAZ

Historic Quarter website

Our new website gives you a peek into the past with photos, plans, and historic documents from the collections of Teesside Archives and Middlesbrough Libraries. Check out the Historic Quarter website now.

Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough

Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough logo

Middlesbrough has a well-established Cultural Partnership, which began in 2018 with founding member organisations, including MIMA, Tees Valley Arts, Navigator North, Platform A Gallery, and The Auxiliary. The partnership has been given funding from Historic England, as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), to celebrate the hidden gems of Middlesbrough’s high street. The partnership will deliver a cultural programme, called Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough, on behalf of Middlesbrough Council.

The overall programme will look at how buildings, industries, people, and communities have influenced the broader culture of the town, and how they might offer us alternative ways to think about the high street today. The activities supporting the Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough programme will also support the wider community engagement plan.

The project will include four public art commissions, two artist residencies, and one further artist commission, creating a range of artworks, a film, and research material. A High Street Project Space will offer insights into the artists’ work and the heritage stories we uncover. Navigator North will lead the project, working in partnership with Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership and Middlesbrough Council.

Key architectural and cultural locations will underpin the themes of the cultural programme, building on the vision of the original Middlesbrough Winter Garden. Between 1907 and 1963, the Winter Garden aimed to bring social activity, access to arts and culture, health and wellbeing to the people of Middlesbrough.

Historically significant buildings, heritage archives, and public collections will form the basis of creative research projects where artists, the public, and local communities will get new perspectives on the role heritage and culture can play in our lives today.

The cultural programme is part of the wider HSHAZ programme, which includes grants and public realm developments in Exchange Square and Zetland Road.

Visitors to the town, residents, students, families, businesses and artists will be invited to get involved as well as local special interest groups, community groups and the public.

Check out Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough on Facebook, and use the hashtag #hiddenmbro to get involved.


This is what we've got planned so far; watch this space for more exciting announcements.

Exchange - Past, Present & Future

Presented by Navigator North at The Masham (27 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1RL)

Saturday 11 September to Saturday 27 November 2021

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10am to 4pm

This exhibition will be shine a spotlight on some of the buildings, people and activities in Exchange Square. The exhibition will feature archival material, images and artefacts revealing the past, present and future of this area of the town, now a designated Historic Quarter.

Exhibits will focus on the former Royal Exchange building, which once stood in the heart of the town’s Victorian commercial and financial district as well as Commerce House and the soon to be a 140-year-old statue of Henry Bolckow.

There will be an opportunity to find out about the work of our artist in residence and the current research exploring the hidden heritage stories connected to this important part of the High Street.

Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough is a programme of artist residencies, commissions and opportunities for communities to engage with creative and cultural activity on the High Street led by Navigator North for Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership.

It draws inspiration from Middlesbrough’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to explore the wider heritage stories of the town and people. It will illuminate how the buildings, industries, people and communities have influenced the broader culture of the town and might offer us alternative ways to think about and use the High Street in the 21st Century.

Find out more about the Celebrating Hidden Middlesbrough via the Navigator North Website or by following us on our social media channels:

Hidden Middlesbrough Instagram
Hidden Middlesbrough Facebook

#HSHAZ #HistoricHighStreets #HiddenMbro

A statue of Henry Bolckow in Exchange Square

Community Steering Group

A Community Steering Group has been established for the programme. They will be responsible for developing and helping to deliver the Community Engagement Plan, alongside an officer from Middlesbrough Council.

The group is made up of people who live, visit, own property and work in and around the Historic Quarter, involving communities impacted by the programme from the outset.

We would also love to hear views and ideas from people outside of the steering group, and we encourage you to contact us via email to

We want to involve local people in every area of the project, including:

  • governance of the project
  • the cultural programme
  • building conservation work
  • public area improvements

More details on the Community Engagement Plan and how you can get involved will be added here as they become available.