The Heritage Debates
The Heritage Alliance holds an annual #heritagedebate on issues affecting the heritage sector.
Our Heritage Debates aim to stimulate new thinking on the benefits of our heritage. These debates help to transmit new ideas to ensure that the new perspectives generated through research are understood by those formulating policy and practice in relation to heritage, and equally, that the major challenges facing the heritage sector are understand by researchers. Follow our debates on Twitter using the #heritagedebate hashtag.
Heritage Debates are made possible through the kind sponsorship of Ecclesiastical Insurance.
The Heritage Debate: Is heritage good for your health?
Please join us on 2nd October 2017 for an evening of lively debate followed by drinks and a buffet reception in the Waldorf’s beautiful Palm Court.
Click here to book before the 22nd of September to receive an early booking rate.
We like to think heritage is good for people’s wellbeing and health, and some evidence is starting to be available to back this up. Heritage participation can improve mental health, and the historic environment can provide an attractive backdrop to physical activity (as shown by the increase in Parkrun-type events). This debate will not so much challenge these statements, as ask how the heritage sector can do better to build bridges with the world of public health. What claims can realistically be made for the health benefits of heritage, and where does heritage best intersect with the public health needs of the nation?
Speakers will be announced shortly.
The Heritage Debate: Heritage & Research: Bridging the Gap
This eighth Heritage Alliance Heritage Debate will explore how heritage research influences public and private sector decision-making – or not. Millions of choices are made in the property industry and by modest private owners every day, while champions like The Heritage Alliance need to access relevant and timely evidence to support their advocacy. Universities are increasingly required to be more engaged with external audiences and to demonstrate impact but the outcomes of academic research, whether from history or psychology faculties, do not always reach the audiences that can put them to good use.
The Heritage Debate: The H Word: Heritage ‘revisited’
This seventh Heritage Alliance Heritage Debate explored perceptions of the word ‘Heritage’. Is it a help or hindrance in attracting political recognition or private investment or do outdated connotations perpetuate the myths that heritage is a brake on growth or just a warm bathe in nostalgia?
ComRes, the leading research consultancy, launched a new snapshot of public perceptions of the word ‘heritage’. Speakers from the media and development industry discussed perceptions and misconceptions from their own experience. The aim, with the help of the audience, was to find ways to bring the wider public understanding in line with contemporary thinking of our heritage as a dynamic, strategic resource of benefit to government, industry, communities and individuals.
The London Heritage Debate: Heritage and Government: Towards a coherent policy?
Time and location: 14th July 2015, School of Oriental and African Studies, London‘Heritage & Government’ – the sixth in the Alliance’s series of Heritage Debates and first to be held in London – examined the changing role the state has played in supporting our heritage for public benefit.Heritage Alliance Chairman Loyd Grossman led an outstanding panel of heritage champions. Conrad Bird, Director of the Cabinet Office’s GREAT Britain campaign illustrated the importance of heritage to the UK’s position at the top of the soft power league. Sir Laurie Magnus, Chairman of Historic England outlined the new English Heritage model and warned that ‘the gravy train of state support has gone’. Professor Sara Selwood, Editor of Cultural Trends, examined the relationship between research and public policy making. The 150-strong audience raised issues about education, everyday heritage, VAT and developers’ perceptions of heritage, local authority capacity and the fate of Local Authority heritage assets.Follow the lively tweets at #heritagedebate or find the images on our Flickr Page, while the podcast is now available below or here.The Alliance’s Heritage Debates series is generously sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance. This event was is held in partnership with the Bartlett School of Planning (University College London) which hosts The Place Alliance.The Newcastle Heritage Debate: Heritage and Identity: What makes you who you are?Time and location: 5th November, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle. Is heritage just a socially acceptable version of tribalism? Has social media produced a culture of ‘place-less’ relationships? These were some of the central themes explored in a major public debate on heritage and identity held at Newcastle University on Wednesday 5th November 2014.The questions of how heritage affects people’s sense of identity and what heritage a North Easterner or Geordie would single out as shaping their sense of self were also on the agenda for the debate. The event was sponsored by specialist heritage insurer Ecclesiastical and held in partnership with University of Newcastle’s The International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies.The discussion was chaired by Peter Stone, Head of the University’s School of Arts and Cultures. The audience of academics and heritage specialists heard from panel members Graham Bell, Europa Nostra Council and Director North of England Civic Trust, Izzy Mohammed, Audience Engagement Coordinator, Library of Birmingham and Dr Rhiannon Mason, Senior Lecturer in Museum, Gallery, and Heritage Studies.Attendees, readers of the Newcastle Journal and local MPs were invited to respond to 4 questions about symbols and characteristics of the North East in the Journal’s piece http://tinyurl.com/oqp2w67 by 10th November.
- Peter Stone, Head of the University’s School of Arts and Cultures.
- Graham Bell, Europa Nostra Council and Director North of England Civic Trust. Download his presentation here
- Izzy Mohammed, Audience Engagement Coordinator, Library of Birmingham. Download his presentation here
- Dr Rhiannon Mason, Senior Lecturer in Museum, Gallery, and Heritage Studies. Download her presentation here
The Cambridge Heritage Debate: Heritage & Tourism: Who Needs Whom?Time and location: 17 October 2012, Cripps Court, Magdalene College, 1-3 Chesterton Road, Cambridge, CB4 3ADThe Debate explored the relationship between heritage and tourism and the extent to which heritage is becoming understood as simply a branch of the tourism industry.The debate was an opportunity to review the changes in our perceptions and understanding in this relationship as it is the 25th anniversary year of the publication of Robert Hewison’s controversial The Heritage Industry: Britain in a climate of decline (1987). The event brought the heritage community, owners and users, together with senior figures from the heritage movement, the tourism sector, the private sector, and the world of academia. Chairman: Loyd Grossman OBE FSA, Chairman of the Heritage Alliance Panelists:
- James Berresford, Chief Executive, VisitEngland
- Robert Hewison, Writer, Visiting Professor, Lancaster University
- Dame Fiona Reynolds, Director General, The National Trust
- Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, Reader, Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cambridge
The York debate: Heritage & Television: Who Profits More?12 June 2013, The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate, York, YO1 9XDBroadcast heritage is a huge source of both information and entertainment, but what does heritage gain from this extensive exposure? The Debate explored whether the face of heritage on TV really is a true picture, how television affects our perceptions of heritage, and how it influences the way heritage organisations engage with audiences. Chairman: Loyd Grossman OBE FSA, Chairman of the Heritage Alliance Panellists:
- Dr Anna Whitelock, Senior Lecturer, Royal Holloway, and Author,
- John Goodall, Architectural Editor, Country Life
- Ed Taylor, Executive Producer, ITV Studios
The Bristol Debate: Heritage & Profit: Who Gains Most?6 November 2013, Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EHThe Debate explored how public and private interests use heritage to achieve their objectives and how economic activity around our older buildings, our heritage railways, our collections, our leisure moments and festival venues drive millions of businesses across the country.Far from being a brake on economic growth, heritage underpins some of our most powerful industries – tourism, construction and the creative and cultural industries.
- Loyd Grossman OBE FSA, Chairman, The Heritage Alliance
- Mayor George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, Architect, Entrepreneur
- Dr Anna Farthing, Director Harvest Heritage, Arts and Media; Harvest Films Ltd
- Nick Sturge, Centre Director for SETsquared, Director, The Engine Shed