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Heritage Day 2015

Heritage Day 2015

This year’s Heritage Day took place in the magnificent Christ Church Spitalfields giving Alliance members and other leading representative of the heritage sector the opportunity to meet, network and discuss the challenges of the day.

The morning AGM included break-out groups for members to contribute to the Alliance’s forward planning and operation. Andrew Brown, Churches and Heritage Claims Director, illustrated Ecclesiastical’s work on reinstatement referring to St Mary’s, March, and Cholderton, both gutted after catastrophic fire damage. We are grateful to Ecclesiastical for continuing their generous sponsorship of Heritage Day.

Save the date 1 December 2016 for the next Heritage Day!

Heritage Day 2015 presentations

After the lunchtime reception, Alliance Chairman Loyd Grossman opened the afternoon session with his annual address, reviewing the developments of the past year and the challenges ahead. Now that the result of the Spending Review was known, he felt that optimism was the best strategy for making the best of the new landscape.

Loyd Grossman also drew attention to the forthcoming disposal of public buildings and land and and to the need for policies to encourage modest donors as well as high net worth individuals but his main message was for the sector to realise its potential, to ‘turn up the volume’, be less reticent and more forceful in making the case and to talk to the wider public in a more emotional terms. For his full presentation see here.

Sir Laurie Magnus, Chairman of Historic England, noted the extraordinarily high levels of participation in heritage in the UK nd the way it supports its international appeal. He then launched the fourteenth edition of Heritage Counts 2015 which carries the first survey of residential listed building owners as well as a scoping study on what might be done by the public sector to encourage the conversion of large heritage assets for residential purposes. In addition to the research, Heritage Counts reports annually on a number of indicators for the historic environment. Sir Laurie noted the continuing pressure on Local Authority historic environment services. He called on the sector to reduce its dependency on public grants, to improve efficiency and, again, urged the audience to promote our heritage more vociferously.

Minister Tracey Crouch continued the positive message reviewing some of the achievements of 2015 – the establishment of the new English Heritage model, the reductions in the Heritage at Risk Register and the tougher sentencing for heritage crimes. She commended the sector for helping the Department for Culture Media and Sport made a compelling case for the Spending Review. The settlements for arm’s length bodies over the subsequent weeks would confirm the detail.

Images of the event are here