1 Valuing our heritage The case for future investment in the historic environment Valuing our heritage The case for future investment in the historic environment
2 This publication sets out the benefits of investment in the historic environment and the case for targeted increases to support the implementation of a new heritage protection system, to restore, repair and maintain historic places of worship and other historic community assets, and to broaden access. The return for that investment will be a faster, more transparent protection system which meets the needs of users; local communities proud of the place they live; and a nation proud of its history. This publication has been produced by English Heritage, the National Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Historic Houses Association and Heritage Link. During the summer of 2006, these organisations ran the History Matters pass it on campaign to raise awareness of the importance of history to our lives today and to encourage involvement in heritage. Millions took part with over 10,000 people completing a postcard telling us why history matters to them. The quotes in this publication are taken directly from a selection of these postcards. Contents 1 Valuing our heritage 2 Introduction 4 People care 6 Benefits of investment 8 Democratisation 14 The state of England s historic environment 16 Priorities for the future
3 Valuing our heritage English Heritage
4 2 Introduction England s historic environment helps define our national identity. It helps shape how we think about ourselves and how other people see us. It is the mix of old and new, our interest in our past and our confidence in the future which defines our nation today. Iconic images of London s heritage featured strongly in our successful Olympic bid. 72% of tourists from Russia and 66% of those from China say that castles, churches, monuments and historic houses are top of their list of things to visit in Britain. 1 87% of people think the historic environment plays an important part in the cultural life of the country. 2 Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
5 The historic environment is a vital part of place making. It provides character, distinctiveness and a sense of place. It helps local people be proud of where they live. Over 90% of adults living in England think that when improving local places it is worth saving their historic features. 3 The historic environment can move and engage us on a personal level. It provides perspective in a fast-changing world. Over half of those visiting historic sites do so for personal relaxation and enjoyment. 4 3 History matters to me because every time we change something people look at our failures and our triumphs and hope to decide the right path. Zachary Sanfilippo, 11. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
6 4 People care Many people read about history and watch it on television. Lots of them also get more involved. Almost 70% of people visit historic sites at least once a year. About 15% visit at least once a month. Heritage Open Days, organised by volunteers for local people, are the biggest mass participation event in the country with over a million people taking part in The National Trust has 3 million members and is the largest conservation organisation in Europe. The History Matters Campaign received postcards from over 10,000 people explaining why history and heritage is so important to them. 46,000 people helped make history by contributing to a blog of what they did on a single day, 17th October 2006, to be recorded for posterity at the British Library. The historic environment is a focus for public commitment and active civic engagement. Today s heritage movement has its roots in community activism with local groups speaking up for what they care about. England has around 400,000 volunteers looking after and explaining our heritage. This is probably the biggest heritage voluntary sector in Europe and they are vital to maintaining our historic environment. There are 850 registered civic societies, representing 250,000 people. There are more than 260 Building Preservation Trusts which operate as community entrepreneurs saving buildings and bringing them back into use. Thousands of historic places of worship are opened and maintained by volunteers every day of the year. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
7 It matters to me because I love learning about history. All the places are so amazing, it s so fantastic to learn about how they lived in the past. Sophie Broder, 9, Chorley.
9 National Trust
10 6 History is important because it helps us to remember we aren t perfect and hopefully we can learn from the mistakes of the past. Rosie Philpot, 13, Loughborough. Benefits of investment Because they care, people are prepared to invest in the historic environment. The investment by private owners in looking after England s historic environment dwarfs the public sector contribution. In 2003/04 the private sector spent 3.4 billion on historic buildings. 6 Only 10% of the costs of major repairs to privately owned historic houses are funded by public grant. 7 Private sector investment in the historic environment has wider economic and community benefits, although in many cases the economic benefits do not flow through to those who are responsible for looking after historic places: Our heritage is a major factor in attracting tourists from both home and expanding emerging markets abroad (see figures on Russia and China in the introduction) with unspoilt countryside, castles, country houses and gardens being among the principal reasons why domestic visitors choose to holiday at home. Privately owned historic houses generate an economic contribution of over 1.6 billion and almost 10% offer formal education programmes. 8 Public sector investment generates economic as well as social benefits: Defra s 6.2 million investment between 1998 and 2004 in the repair of farm buildings in the Lake District has had a total impact on the local economy of between 8.5 million and 13.1 million. 9 England s cathedrals generate around 150 million per annum of benefits for the local and national economies. 10 A sample survey of local area regeneration projects found that, on average, for 10,000 of grant aid from English Heritage, 46,000 was levered in from other public and private sources. 11 Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
11 7 britainonview.com The voluntary sector also invest time and effort. The National Trust invests over 160 million a year in the nation s historic and natural environmental infrastructure, supporting thousands of local businesses rather like a development agency often in remote rural areas where others would not invest. A National Trust study of its impact on the economy of the south west showed that 54,000 local jobs are generated by the high quality of the environment and a wider study concluded that each National Trust job generates between 4 and 9 full time equivalents in the local economy. A report for Heritage Link The Heritage Dynamo identified the huge contribution the voluntary sector makes to regeneration generating funding, providing skills and advice and engaging the local community. Ancoats Building Preservation Trust for example, has levered in over 12 million in grants for its capital projects to regenerate a socially deprived area of Manchester through its industrial heritage. The National Trust estimate that nationally the contribution of its volunteers is worth 16.3 million a year, equivalent to 1,300 full-time staff. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
12 8 A loss of memory means a loss of identity. History, personally and collectively, tells us where we came from, and who we are. David Gibson, 75, Cheltenham. Democratisation Over the past 10 years the heritage sector has redefined and democratised how we think about heritage and the contribution it makes to our lives. Because it is all around us, the historic environment is the most accessible of cultural experiences. Redefining heritage Through the publication of Power of Place in 2000 the heritage sector has promoted a vision of heritage as inclusive not exclusive. Heritage is now widely understood as being all around us, defining local places as well as our national identity. There are over 400,000 listed buildings and scheduled monuments and over 9,000 conservation areas. Around a quarter of all adults visited a historic place of worship in the last year as a visitor rather than to worship. Around one fifth visited some form of industrial heritage or historic transport. 12 Over 70% of people say they are interested in the history of the place where they live. 13 Adding Value Building on this more accessible view of heritage, there has been a broader recognition of how our historic environment contributes to a range of public policy objectives. The historic environment is a vital part of making places where we want to be. It can be a focus for civic pride and local identity. Heritage is at the heart of many successful regeneration schemes for example, Grainger Town in Newcastle, the Lace Market in Nottingham, the recovery of the Lake District after the Foot and Mouth epidemic and Brindley Place in Birmingham. Our heritage can also bring history to life and is a vital part of out of classroom learning. Around 2.6 million school children visited historic attractions in 2005, 14 an increase of 5% on the previous year. The National Trust s programme of working with schools over 15 years and hosting over 500,000 school trips each year has shown that regular visits to sites can influence career choices, improve learning and encourage children to value their local environment more. 15 Heritage can generate a range of wider benefits. For example, a survey of National Trust volunteers found that 49% felt they gained new skills. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
13 9 The recognition of the broad value of the historic environment has been reflected in a wider range of funding sources. Most resources to support England s historic environment come from the private sector. Since its formation in 1995 Heritage Lottery Fund has spent over 1.2 billion on historic buildings and monuments across the UK. It has regenerated around 10,000 historic buildings and 268 public parks. It is the largest public sector source of funds for the historic environment. Increasingly, Regional Development Agencies are seeing the benefits of investing in the historic environment. One North East s Regional Economic strategy identifies culture, environment and heritage as fundamental to the unique character and image of the North East. They underpin the region s distinctive appeal for individuals, businesses and investors. One North East is also investing around 2 million over the next three years in Hadrian's Wall. Government departments are also recognising the value of the historic environment to meeting their objectives. Defra has spent over 90 million on the rural historic environment over the past five years as part of its agri-environment programmes. This has helped fund: The restoration of 2,845 non-domestic historic buildings. More than 7.7 million metres of restored historic boundaries. The restoration of over one million square metres of ponds and historic water features. 897 projects to enhance and protect designated landscapes. Public support through the charity and voluntary sector has grown with increasing donations both of time and money. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
15 Harewood House, HHA
16 12 History matters because it shows us things which are both distant and familiar and invites us to find the threads of continuity in the constant changes, and it s FUN to explore. Julia Boorman, 61, Wokingham. Democratisation Modernising delivery The historic environment sector has improved the way it delivers services to the public. A key element of this has been investing in improvements to support reforms to the planning system. English Heritage has improved its efficiency in advising on planning applications which impact on the historic environment from 74% within 28 days in 2002 to 95% within 21 days in 2005/06. The vast majority of planning applications affecting listed buildings are dealt with by local authorities without referral to English Heritage. The heritage sector has increased support for local delivery: English Heritage has introduced a new capacity building programme Historic Environment Local Management (HELM) which provides information and support for local authority officers and members leading to better quality decision-making at the local level. Between April and November 2006 the HELM website received 140,296 hits, a massive increase over the 127,209 hits for the whole of the previous year. There are now Historic Environment Champions in over 50% of local authorities. Well over a thousand local amenity societies, largely run by volunteers, spend an enormous amount of time and energy advising local authorities on planning applications, making sure that local communities are wellinformed and involved in decisions. Their expertise, experience and local knowledge help protect the listed buildings and historic areas which are part of our everyday environment. The eight National Amenity Societies, as statutory consultees, advise local authorities on all grades of listed buildings, improving the quality of decision-making by providing expert input and increasing public involvement. English Heritage is supporting the Amenity Societies to enable them to work with e-planning. Over the past three years the heritage sector has worked closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Communities and Local Government to develop a new system for heritage protection which will be simpler, more flexible and more transparent. In parallel with this, English Heritage is developing a set of principles for conservation which will ensure that all its advice is consistent and transparent. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
17 13 Broader Participation An increasingly broad range of people engage with the historic environment. Enjoying England s heritage is a popular, not an elitist activity. Around 48% of adults from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, 58% of adults with a limiting disability or illness, and 56% of adults from lower socio-economic groups visited at least one type of designated historic environment site during the last year. 16 Between 2004 and 2006, English Heritage attracted over 323,000 new visitors from under represented groups to its sites, events and outreach activities. This exceeded the target set by the Government by more than 200%. 11% of National Trust volunteers have some form of disability. English Heritage Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
18 14 History matters to me because it is what we are built upon, and what makes today is what happened in the past. Also it is extremely interesting! Aima, 15, Hope Valley. The state of England s historic environment England's historic environment is hugely popular. Thanks to the democratisation of heritage over the past 10 years it is now enjoyed by a wide range of people and its value and contribution to our quality of life is now much better understood. The priority for the future is to ensure that it remains in good condition for future generations to enjoy and value. Of approximately 30,000 Grade I and II* buildings in England, over 1,000 are at risk through neglect and decay. 87% are likely to require some subsidy to bring them back into use. The total subsidy is estimated at around 400 million. 50 buildings on the list require a subsidy of at least 1 million each. English Heritage estimates that there are around 17,000 listed buildings at risk (of all grades). Places of worship are the largest category of Grade I and II* listed buildings. English Heritage estimates that the cost of repairing all of England s listed places of worship is 925 million over the next five years, or 185 million a year. Almost 10% of listed building entries are working farm buildings. 2,220 (7.4%) are in a severe state of disrepair and almost one in three have already been converted to other uses. Almost half the historic parkland (one of the most distinctive features of the English landscape) recorded in 1918 had been lost by 1995 as a result of agricultural changes, urban development or other factors. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
19 15 40% of houses in this country are over 50 years old and nearly half of the UK s 56 billion construction industry is in repairs and refurbishment. There is, however, a shortage of people with the skills to do this work. The built heritage sector has a workforce of 86,430 but needs an extra 6,590 craftspeople to resolve skill shortages and meet demand. 17 England already spends less public money on heritage per head of population than many other European countries including Germany, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands. On top of this, some of the major public sector resources available to invest in the historic environment are declining: Heritage Lottery Fund is the main source of public funding for heritage in the UK. It committed 318 million in 2005/06 compared with 355 million in 2004/05, a reduction in real terms of 15%. English Heritage s grant in aid from the Government has been reduced by 9.7 million in real terms since Between 2000/01 and 2005/06 the purchasing power of English Heritage s grants has reduced by 19.6 million (using Treasury GDP deflators). Tim Stephens, 2000 Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
20 16 Priorities for the future 1. Resources and skills to deliver the Heritage Protection Review. The Government s proposed changes to the heritage protection system are intended to make it simpler, more flexible and more transparent. The views of owners and the general public will be taken into account before decisions are made. The general public and owners will have a much better understanding of why places are designated. Owners and managers of large historic assets, such as major estates and public infrastructure, will be freed from making repetitive and bureaucratic applications for listed building consent. The changes have broad support across the sector and amongst developers but will require a more integrated approach across different disciplines and professionals at local level who will need the confidence to make decisions within a framework of greater local flexibility. Resources within local authorities for conservation are already very stretched. Around one third of planning applications have a potential impact on the historic environment while local authorities have, on average, only 1.7 conservation officers each. Against this background the implications of operating a new system cannot just be absorbed. Investment will be necessary to: Enable English Heritage to update information about why individual historic assets and monuments are designated. Develop skills amongst local authority staff so they will be able to take a more integrated approach to the historic environment and have the confidence to operate a more flexible system. Support new ways of working at regional and sub-regional level to share skills and resources. Improve information at national and local levels, including achieving consistent standards for Historic Environment Records. Improve dialogue with the public. English Heritage will require around 5 million per year for five years to lead and support the introduction of the new system. Local authorities will also need to invest to be able to implement the changes. The new system will produce savings in the longer term, but without this upfront investment, implementation, and gaining the benefits for owners and the public, will not be possible. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
21 History is what we are, and whether we want to be it or to change it we need to understand it. Joanne Woods, Durham.
23 English Heritage
24 18 Without my past I have no memories. Without history I have no roots. Jennifer Renton, 56, Colchester. Priorities for the future 2. Places of Worship. 80% of English parish churches are listed. Over 4,000 are Grade I listed and they constitute 45% of all Grade I listed buildings. The Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme, run jointly by English Heritage and Heritage Lottery Fund, offers 25 million per year to help look after historic places of worship and bring them back to a sustainable condition and use. The overall repair bill is, however, estimated at nearly 1 billion It would clearly be unrealistic to expect this to be met from English Heritage grants or the Lottery. Continuing the English Heritage/Heritage Lottery Fund Repair Grants Scheme for Places of Worship and augmenting it with a new Small Grants scheme; and Making sure the safety nets are in place for redundant places of worship, including adequate resources for the Churches Conservation Trust. Investment of 26.5 million over three years would enable us to shrink the massive repair bill through a range of measures including: Re-writing out-dated list descriptions for all 4,200 Grade I places of worship as part of the current reform of heritage protection which will make it simpler to adapt the buildings to the needs of their congregations and communities in the 21st century; Helping congregations to help themselves by appointing Historic Places of Worship Support Officers to provide expertise; Creating a Maintenance Grants scheme to shrink repair bills in the longer term; Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic envirnment.
25 19 3. Investing in the assets. Most of England s historic environment is privately owned. We all have an interest in encouraging owners to invest because of the wider public benefits which derive from our historic environment such as education, recreation and a more varied and enjoyable public realm. Those public benefits have traditionally been secured through a combination of regulation (through the planning system), incentives (through grants from local authorities, Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage) and the efforts of owners and volunteers. English Heritage grants are targeted on properties where the need for repair or restoration is acute or urgent. In recent years grants from local authorities have virtually ceased and English Heritage grants have fallen in value by over 21% in real terms since Restoration of English Heritage's grant in aid to 1997 levels would mean an increase of over 3 million per year in the grants available to those who look after England s historic environment. This equates to saving around 8 buildings per year from the Buildings at Risk register. Since 2002, as a result of English Heritage support, 209 buildings previously at risk are now back in use and secure for the future. These include the Roundhouse, London, the Albany, Liverpool and the Royal Devonshire Hospital in Buxton. Even this, however, would represent only a small proportion of the work needed to maintain our unique heritage and the costs of conservation continue to rise. Maintenance is more cost effective than neglect and major restoration. And the case grows stronger for fiscal remedies that can complement grants by encouraging owners to carry out maintenance before buildings become at risk. Moreover, Heritage Lottery Fund grants are not generally available for privately owned heritage. A limited relief on the eligible costs of maintenance of valued historic properties, set against income, with a minimum period of public access, would support maintenance work over a period, reduce the future call on English Heritage support and extend and improve the benefits to the public, at relatively minor cost (a scheme costing 10 million per year could enable work in 500 properties reaching some 5 million people). There is a continuing need for the National Heritage Memorial Fund which plays an important role as a fund of last resort for securing works of art and culture for the nation, often at very short notice. But the growing gap between NHMF s resources and the prices commanded by heritage buildings and their contents on the open market make it less and less possible for NHMF to fulfil this role. This could be addressed by accepting the recommendation of the Goodison Report of 2004 that NHMF s annual grant be raised to 20 million. 4. Reaching people. The heritage sector has made good progress in democratising heritage, broadening audiences and improving the service to the public. The Taking Part survey shows that very high numbers of people visit and enjoy historic places, including amongst priority groups. However there is still a significant gap between the proportion of the overall population engaging with heritage and the proportion of people from priority groups. To maintain momentum and close this gap further, there is a need for investment in: Outreach programmes to engage priority groups. Training and dissemination of best practice across the sector. Building the capacity of priority groups to engage with the historic environment. English Heritage s ability to support capacity building in the voluntary sector through its grants. New initiatives to increase the diversity of those working within the heritage sector, including volunteers. Integrating the historic environment into the Government s commitments to increase outof-classroom education for school children. Valuing our heritage.the case for future investment in the historic environment.
27 SOURCES 1 VisitBritain 2 Power of Place MORI poll 3, 4 Taking Part survey, DCMS 5 Civic Trust 6 8 Historic Houses Association 9 Joint English Heritage/Defra study 10 Heritage Counts 11 Heritage Dividend 2002, English Heritage 12, 13 Taking Part survey, DCMS 14 VisitBritain 15 Changing Minds: The Lasting Impact of School Trips, National Trust 16 Taking Part survey, DCMS 17 Traditional Building Craft Skills, National Heritage Training Group Report 2005 Printed on Revive Uncoated, a UK-made 100% recycled grade using 80% post-consumer waste. Product code: January 2007 English Heritage
28 CONTACT English Heritage 1 Waterhouse Square Holborn London EC1N 2ST T: National Trust Heelis, Kemble Drive Swindon Wiltshire SN2 2NA T: Heritage Link 89 Albert Embankment London SE1 7TP T: Heritage Lottery Fund 7 Holbein Place London SW1W 8NR T: Historic Houses Association 2 Chester Street London SW1X 7BB T: CONTENTS 1 Valuing our heritage 2 Introduction 4 People care 6 Benefits of investment 8 Democratisation 14 The state of England s historic environment 16 Priorities for the future britainonview.com