Saturday, 14 December 2013

Consultation on the Delivery of English Heritage Services

Today the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a consultation on proposed changes to how English Heritage delivers its services.  This follows on from the Chancellor’s announcement of these proposed changes in June 2013.

It is proposed that a charitable arm will be established whose purpose will be the conservation and public enjoyment of the National Heritage Collection.  Supported by Government investment of £80m, it will undertake an ambitious programme of conservation of the collection and make a series of investments to improve the experience of visitors and members.  The charity will, through this programme, be able to grow its income and is expected to become self-financing by 2023.  The Collection will remain in public ownership.

There will be no changes to English Heritage’s current duties and responsibilities for championing, advising on and helping to conserve England’s wider historic environment.  These will be delivered under the new name of ‘Historic England’.  It will continue to provide impartial advice to central government, local authorities, other heritage organisations and private owners.  It will continue to co-ordinate the National Heritage Protection Plan, to manage the Heritage at Risk register and to provide access to its expert research and extensive archives.  Historic England's role in promoting re-generation and sustainable growth, both within rural areas and urban landscapes, has never been more important.

We and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport believe that a charity will provide a more resilient future for the Collection.  It is the first time in decades that this level of funding has been dedicated to English Heritage and it will strengthen and protect the role of English Heritage for generations to come.  It will also provide distinct visibility for Historic England in the role of delivering a heritage protection system that supports growth, reduces unnecessary bureaucracy and promotes constructive conservation. 

On behalf of the DCMS, we invite you to respond to the consultation document itself via the link below. The consultation will be open for nine weeks and close on February 7th 2014. Please address any questions you have about the consultation to or call on 0207 211 2053.

Yours sincerely

Sir Laurie Magnus
English Heritage

Monday, 9 December 2013

The Art of Building 2013

Found this beautiful set of photographs on the BBC new web site and just wanted to share it

The Art of Building 2013

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Friday, 6 December 2013

St Mary de Castro is featured in BBC program

The following news item appeared on the BBC web site yesterday

"Loughborough Victorian bell foundry in £3m fundraising bid"

At the bottom of the news item the following appeared

"The foundry will be featured in BBC TV programme Restoring England's Heritage, which also features Cromford Mill, Derbyshire; Mapperley Chapel, Nottingham; Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire; All Saints Church, Beckingham, Lincolnshire; and the Church of St James the Greater in Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire.
It will be shown on BBC One at 19:30 GMT on Thursday 5 December."
The program also featured St Mary de Castro, Leicester
Program link expires 5th January 2014

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Prince Charles calls for neglectful heritage owners to forfeit their ownership of them

In an article for BDOnline Elizabeth Hopkirk reported:
"Heritage assets should come with development time limit, says Prince
The Prince of Wales has called for a change in the law to force the owners of historic buildings to forfeit them if they fail to find a sensitive solution within a fixed timeframe.
This would prevent valuable heritage assets from slipping into dereliction, the prince said in a speech celebrating English Heritage’s centenary last night.
Admiralty Arch at Trafalgar Square was rescued after just such a transfer of ownership, he said.
“If we want to save and convert the sort of heritage property I have mentioned, we have to find better ways of dealing with the sale of historic sites so that if a purchaser fails to do anything with the building within, say, two or three years, or fails to find a sensitive, sympathetic solution for it, then they should be required to return the property to the public body that originally owned it or, at least, have it transferred to a charitable body which has the experience, talent and means to do something with it,” he said.
“There is no doubt that the introduction of a set period of time in which to maintain or restore a building can be a key element in making the most of what is left of our heritage.”
Speaking at a dinner at the newly restored Kenwood House in Hampstead attended by architecture and heritage minister Ed Vaizey, he said the sale of historic buildings – often by the state – had not always been done well.
“I can only pray that Historic England, as it will become, will be able to work closely with other, related organisations to develop this approach in the future,” he said.
“Especially bearing in mind a fresh round of government disposals taking place as we speak. Surely, this time, we could get it right?”
The prince went on to argue that property developers should see heritage buildings as a “brand asset” since research has shown that a business operating out of a restored or listed building attracts a “heritage premium” worth £13,000 a year.
Heritage protection was also a powerful way of bringing back to life often deprived communities, he added."
Click here to download the text of the Prince's speech
Click here to download Simon Thurley's speech of welcome (Chief Executive English Heritage)

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