2010 news articles

2010 news articles

More benefits for HTF Members

At the AGM last month it was agreed that Membership fees should to be frozen for a second year running and that all HTF publications will be made available as free downloads for Members from January 2011.  HTF is keen to offer the best possible service; Members will soon be given the opportunity to tell us what you value most as well as what you wish for from your HTF Membership. 

The Comprehensive Spending Review

The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) was announced on 20 October, with cuts to the heritage sector higher than expected. Among the worst of the cuts were a 32% cut for English Heritage, and a 20% cut for the Churches Conservation Trust. CSR states that funded bodies will have to cut back on non-essential services and administration budgets over the Spending Review period.

While this is going to be a difficult time for everyone in the sector, HTF believes we need to pull together as a galvanised unit and find approaches that continue to deliver for, and to protect, our heritage. Increased partnership and community engagement, alternative funding solutions, and maximising public support will be our challenge over the review period.

More information:

DCMS: Secretary of State’s Written Statement 21 October 2010

Heritage Alliance

English Heritage

Churches Conservation Trust

National Heritage Memorial fund

Visit Britain

Regional Growth Fund

The Government response to the consultation on the Regional Growth Fund

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was launched by the Deputy Prime Minister as a £1.4 billion fund to “create the condition for growth and enterprise in the regions by stimulating investment and create sustainable private sector jobs” in order to “unleash the talent and drive that will help the country get back on its feet.” The fund will run over three years, with £1bn available in the first 2 years, with £420m in the third year to ensure strategic management of the fund. Bidding for the first round is now open, and closes on 21 January 2011. Guidance will be published setting out criteria for applications as a project; package of projects; or a programme.
More here

Local Enterprise Partnerships

On 28 October Government announced 24 partnerships that are now ready to move forward and establish their local enterprise partnership boards. Further partnerships will be taken forward after resubmission of proposals. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are joint local authority-business bodies which will replace Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in order to promote local economic development. It is worth being aware that boards are now being established and that those LEPs moving forward will already have proposals that may encompass elements of local heritage – this is an opportunity for real community engagement!
Read more about LEPs

HTF projects for 2011

The main topics we will cover in 2011 will be Tourism, Community Engagement, Climate Change, Sustainability and Transport. We will also be focusing to some degree on what new governance will look like for us in terms of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). 

HTF partner, Bircham Dyson Bell, will be delivering for us a one day conference in January on the implications of the Comprehensive Spending Review, while the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) will hold a workshop for us in mid February on how Historic towns can achieve Purple Flag status.
More details soon!

Director’s reflections

This is a busy time for HTF and for the heritage sector in general – with the Comprehensive Spending Review, the DCMS Business Plan, Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Regional Growth Fund, and the imminent Localism Bill all likely to affect the way we operate, there’s no time for a seasonal wind-down – it’s time to be vigilant and to start planning for the New Year by prioritising the key issues for our membership. Cuts across the sector have been more severe than expected, and we will need to find new ways to deliver on our reputation for valued work, while continuing to increase our engagement with the various agenda that impact Historic Towns.

Regardless of how funding is affected we must remain positive, innovative and active – we are a passionate organisation of heritage advocates. Let us look towards an enterprising future that can only benefit how we promote and protect our heritage.

Noël James, Director, HTF
November 2010

Review: Developing best practice guidance for local heritage assets

TitleDeveloping best practice guidance for local heritage assets
PublisherEnglish Heritage
Published30 September 2010
To orderDownload: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/saving-london/ (116KB)

This brief development document is planned as an initial step in producing guidance to help local communities identify the heritage buildings and spaces that they recognise as important to them.  In particular this will be of interest where local heritage assets may influence the outcome of planning decisions. In addition it should help to encourage wider community involvement in non-statutory designation, while aiding community engagement and facilitating relationships between those communities and their local authorities.

It is being developed as a follow-on to the 2007 Government white paper Heritage Protection for the 21stCentury and will provide best practice guidance to carry out the commitments made in the paper. At present it outlines what the guidance is intended to cover, including selection criteria, local lists, involvement of the general public, strengthening the protection for local historic assets, and improving access to those assets through HERs.

The document is also a call out to local authorities for their experiences in managing local heritage assets.

Noël James, Director HTF
November 2010

Review: Pillars of the Community: the transfer of local authority heritage assets

TitlePillars of the Community: the transfer of local authority heritage assets (summary)
PublisherEnglish Heritage
Published30 September 2010
To orderDownload full guidance: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/pillars-of-the-community-the-transfer-of-local-authority-heritage-assets/  (334KB)
 Download summary version: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/pillars-of-the-community-summary/ (334KB)

This is a useful summary publication concerning asset transfers, aimed primarily at local authorities and community organisations. It has been produced in conjunction with English Heritage, the Asset Transfer Unit, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Trust, and The Prince’s Regeneration Trust.

It covers practical areas such as strategising, options assessment, project support, risk assessment, raising finance, and maintaining long-term viability. It will help community groups to understand the responsibilities of taking over the management of a heritage asset, and will be of value also to central government and other public bodies where the transfer of a heritage asset is involved.

Review: Saving London: 20 years of Heritage at Risk in the Capital

TitleSaving London: 20 years of Heritage at Risk in the Capital
Researched and written by Philip Davies, Delcia Keate, Richard Dumville and Clare Parfitt
PublisherEnglish Heritage
Published30 September 2010
To orderDownload: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/saving-london/ (2MB)

This timely publication from English Heritage takes a look back at 20 years of heritage protection in London. The London Register sparked the research which led to the launch Heritage at Risk campaign, the first of its kind to include all types of heritage asset, in 2008.

Packed full of interesting facts and figures (for example 94% of all buildings on the first register have been saved and brought back into use) Saving London also provides useful case studies which highlight the inherent sustainability of historic buildings, a factor which might be surprising to some.

The five chapters take us in turn through success, experience, key trends, case studies, and solutions, while covering areas such as new imperatives, why buildings become at risk, threats and consequences, and lessons learned.  Topics for discussion include statutory notices, climate change, and the usefulness of dedicated Heritage at Risk officers. Above all it shows that constant vigilance and effort is required to keep buildings at risk off the register, but it also shows that it is a possible and necessary alternative to new build in the fight against climate change.

Noël James, Director HTF
November 2010