Director's View - November Newsletter

It’s been an incredibly busy few months, here in the HTF offices. Normally we’d be winding down a little, taking stock, and planning for next year, but with so much going on in the ever-changing political landscape we’ve been holding extra requested events and continuing to be strong advocates for our part of the sector.

September saw us hold our first Social Media training event – a great success – led by James Mott of ProjectBook. While we ourselves have this year embraced the world of Social Media, it was fascinating and somewhat salutary to be shown by an expert how it should be done – and it’s led to greater online connection with our colleagues, members, and fellow practitioners. It also led to our first set of ‘storified’ tweets from our Annual Conference in York, in October ('Economic Vision in Historic Towns – planning and regeneration' [Members can see presentations here]) – tweets which were followed, seen and read by almost 7000   recipients according to James (who was monitoring this for us) – a figure which certainly underlines the power of Twitter! It was exciting also to see responses from members and others who had not been able to make the conference, but who were nevertheless engaging with the topics, the content and the speakers. If you are not yet on Twitter, or not yet following us, then please do so on @HTF_Director and @_HTF.

Following our Social Media event we held a joint workshop on how to respond to the National Planning Policy Framework consultation with Bath Preservation Trust. [View the presentations here]. This event was extremely well-attended and showed there is still a strong local call for top-down information in local areas – communities are eager to engage with planning, the Localism Bill and with the NPPF – and with the Bill having just received Royal Assent, now is the time to get active in your communities. How is the Bill going to affect you and what you want in your areas? Please do keep us informed of what is happening in your localities as we will be producing short, simple and useful guidance in the coming year – let us know what you would find most useful [Register your interest for Jan/Feb Localism event with BDB here].

In September and October we responded to the Mary Portas BIS High Street Review by holding two joint roundtable events with English Heritage, attended by leading figures from the retail and heritage sectors. This has fed directly into the Review [see response here] and will feed further into the revision of EH/HTF retail guidance as well as into an HTF retail seminar in February [register your interest here].

Which brings us to the New Year – 2012 will be a special year for many reasons – the Royal Jubilee, the 2012 Games, and the Historic Towns Forum’s 25th Anniversary! Watch this space for news on our March 16 English Tourism Week conference with VisitEngland, events with our patron, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and our inaugural 25th Anniversary Awards Ceremony. We thank you for your continued support and hope you will join us again next year to help make our 25th the best yet!