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News

News and updates on the Giving to Heritage programme


Loyd Grossman calls for a cut in VAT on older buildings

October 24, 2014

Loyd Grossman calls for a cut in VAT on older buildings

The 20% VAT rate on the restoration of old buildings should be scrapped, Loyd Grossman, Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, has claimed speaking on the BBC Daily Politics Show on Wednesday 22nd October.

Speaking after the Prime Ministers questions and using the Ragged School Museum in East London as an example, Loyd Grossman argued that heritage was not a luxury that requires subsidy, but an essential part of our society and economy which justifies investment.

According to research conducted by the Historic Houses Association [Alliance member], essential repairs to member houses exceeds £750 million pounds in 2014, up from £390 million in 2009. Loyd Grossman argued, however, that it was not just big houses that face these costs as 86% of listed buildings are owned by people outside the top income bracket.

During the interview, Loyd Grossman said:

“Why can’t the government grasp the value of heritage and do something positive? Get rid of the VAT regime which slaps a full rate of tax on the repair and maintenance of old buildings but levies zero per cent on new-build and demolition. The current system just doesn’t make any sense.”

The Heritage Alliance is part of the Cut the VAT coalition, which calls for a reduction in the rate of VAT from 20% to 5% as permitted under EU rules. To find out more about our campaign, visit the Heritage Alliance website and see our Manifesto and Supplementary Briefing on VAT. To watch the video and see the debate, visit the BBC News website here

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Heritage Update #288 is out!

Heritage Update #288 is out!

The latest Heritage Update e-bulletin is now out Friday 24th October and emailed directly to our subscribers.

Heritage Update is our voice to, and for, the sector. The popular fortnightly e-bulletin offers policy updates, news, a consultation round-up, events / course listings and job vacancies. Update reaches an estimated 14000 mailboxes in the UK and internationally, with readers as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Antarctica, Istanbul and California.

The most recent back copy (10th October) and all other archive copies can be downloaded here. To subscribe and receive a copy directly to your inbox two weeks before it’s available online, please sign-up here

Click here to read #288

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The Heritage Alliance welcomes DCMS Announcement on the new English Heritage Model

October 14, 2014

The Heritage Alliance welcomes DCMS Announcement on the new English Heritage Model

The Heritage Alliance, the biggest coalition of heritage interests in England, welcomes today’s announcement from DCMS on the future of English Heritage.

DCMS confirms that English Heritage, the Government’s advisor on the historic environment, will be re-structured from 1 April 2015. The 420 properties that make up the National Heritage Collection will be managed by a new Charity ‘English Heritage’ while the advisory and other services will continue to be delivered by ‘Historic England’.

The Alliance raised a number of concerns in its response to the DCMS consultation in the summer. Loyd Grossman, Chairman of the Alliance, said ‘We’re pleased that the business plan has been agreed after a period of uncertainty and look forward to renewed stability for the sector. We congratulate the leadership of English Heritage on concluding what was a lengthy and complex negotiation and we look forward to working with them under the new arrangements.

‘However we will continue to monitor both parts of the new Model carefully because of the central importance of both ‘English Heritage’ and ‘Historic England’ to all of us who care for our heritage. We’re especially keen to make sure that Historic England is adequately resourced to provide essential statutory and non-statutory services for the sector and the wider public.’

The DCMS decision and summary of the Business Plan is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-model-for-english-heritage-moves-a-step-closer-following-consultation

To download the full press release from the Heritage Alliance, click here

Note to Editors

  • The Heritage Alliance is the largest coalition of heritage interests in England. Established in 2002 by key voluntary sector bodies, it brings together 96 non-Government organisations concerned with our heritage. Between them, our members represent well over 5 million people across Britain. Find out more at www.theheritagealliance.org.uk.
  • To see our initial response to the DCMS Consultation and 40 others from across the heritage sector, see our website at http://www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/supplementary-briefing-attracting-more-investment-into-heritage/
  • You can follow the conversation on twitter using the #newEH hashtag.
  • The Heritage Alliance is also calling on the UK government and political powers to realise the power of heritage through 12 key policy asks. Read our manifesto and supplementary briefings here: http://www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/manifesto/
  • For images and more information about The Heritage Alliance please contact Policy and Communications Officer Matt Rabagliati on 0207 2330 500 or at matthew.rab@theheritagealliance.org.uk

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Heritage Update #287 is out!

October 10, 2014

Heritage Update #287 is out!

The latest Heritage Update e-bulletin is now out Friday 10th October and emailed directly to our subscribers.

Heritage Update is our voice to, and for, the sector. The popular fortnightly e-bulletin offers policy updates, news, a consultation round-up, events / course listings and job vacancies. Update reaches an estimated 14000 mailboxes in the UK and internationally, with readers as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Antarctica, Istanbul and California.

The most recent back copy (26th September) and all other archive copies can be downloaded here. To subscribe and receive a copy directly to your inbox two weeks before it’s available online, please sign-up here

Click here to read #287

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Woodchester Mansion Trust joins The Alliance!

Woodchester Mansion Trust joins The Alliance!

We are delighted to announce that Woodchester Mansion Trust has become the latest organisation to join the Heritage Alliance, making our membership an all-time high of 96! 

Woodchester Mansion is a 19th century Victorian Gothic Masterpiece which was mysteriously abandoned mid-construction in 1873. Hidden in a secluded Cotswold valley, it is untouched by time and the modern world. This Grade 1 Listed Building has been saved from dereliction, but will never be completed. 

Founded in 1989, Woodchester Mansion Trust has set about rescuing the Mansion from dereliction through support from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Trust is also the pioneer of the Living Classroom model of heritage skills training, becoming the first heritage site in the UK to provide hands-on training to student stonemasons and run courses for the lay public in a variety of traditional building skills. 

Woodchester Mansion is holding a series of events throughout the Autumn which are available to view on their website. For more information about Heritage Training at Woodchester Mansion, visit their website here

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National Heritage Training Group becomes member of The Alliance

October 3, 2014

National Heritage Training Group becomes member of The Alliance

We are pleased to announce that the National Heritage Training Group has also joined The Heritage Alliance. 

The NHTG, funded by the Construction Industry Training Board,English Heritage and Historic Scotland, is a voluntary organisation responsible for co-ordinating the ongoing development and delivery of traditional building crafts training and qualifications across the UK’s heritage sector. The NHTG also supports Built Environment Federations and their members to encourage and improve access to specialist traditional building skills training, while also raising awareness of the importance of heritage craft skills across the sector. 

It was also announced in August 2014 that the not-for-profit Community Interest Company, Heritage Skills Hub, would be gifted to the NHTG to enable the co-ordinated development of the extensive, skills, expertise and resources of both organisations for the benefit of the historic built environment. 

For more information see the National Heritage training Group website at http://www.heritageskillshub.org/. The NHTG also holds a series of targeted training courses related to traditional buildings and heritage craft training. To see a full list of their events throughout Autumn 2014, see their website here.

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Friends of Cathedral Music becomes latest member!

Friends of Cathedral Music becomes latest member!

Friends of Cathedral Music has become the latest organisation to join The Heritage Alliance, taking our membership to an all time high of 95. 

Friends of Cathedral Music’s objective is to safeguard the priceless heritage of cathedral music, to increase public knowledge and appreciation of its heritage and tradition, to encourage high standard in choral and organ music, and to raise money by subscriptions, donations and legacies for choirs in need. 

Since its founding in 1956, the charity has given over £2 million in donations to Anglican and Roman cathedral church and collegiate chapel choirs in the UK and overseas. By making grants to choirs, they seek to maintain and expand the work of choral foundations of Cathedrals, Collegiate Churches and Chapels, alongside other appropriate places of worship. 

For full details of their national gatherings, membership and events, visit their website at www.fcm.org.uk

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Giving to Heritage

Giving to Heritage

Do you need to fundraise for a project that has a heritage focus?

The Heritage Alliance, together with its partner, the Institute of Fundraising is offering high quality, subsidised training in heritage fundraising. For only £20 a head for a full day’s training, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the resilience of the independent heritage sector!

Attendees on our workshops so far have been learning a number of valuable new skills in developing a heritage fundraising strategy and making the heritage case in a competitive donor marketplace. Projects have included upgrading a water mill, expanding a small museum, funding a new archaeological excavation, adding community outreach to a historic building project, promoting the heritage of a national park and funding the skills required for stained glass production and repair. The workshops have been very well attended and positively received:

“To be able to access this level of training is hugely valuable for a small outfit like ours”

“The structure of the day was excellent – really useful and practical information”

“Good exercises and opportunities for networking”

“ Great to meet other organisations in a similar position”

More heritage fundraising subjects and details of the HLF-sponsored Giving to Heritage programme are available on www.givingtoheritage.org.uk. We always use interesting heritage locations such as the SS Great Britain, Royal Pavilion BrightonIronbridge MuseumBrading Roman Villa and Durham Cathedral.

Anyone who needs to fundraise for a heritage-related project can attend the training events. It is not necessary to be a Heritage Alliance member or to join the Institute of Fundraising. Nor is it necessary to be a member of a specific heritage organisation. But the project for which you are fundraising must have a heritage focus.

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Heritage Day 2014: Reserve your place today!

Heritage Day 2014: Reserve your place today!

Registration is now open for Heritage Day 2014!

We are delighted to confirm that Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Helen Goodman MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, and Baroness Bonham Carter, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Culture, will be joining The Heritage Alliance for our annual Heritage Day on 4th December 2014.

Taking place at the Glaziers Hall in Central London, the day will see our Chairman, Loyd Grossman, bring together representatives from the three main political parties to debate the place of heritage in national life before being opened to the floor for questions.

Heritage Day is one of the biggest events in the heritage calendar. This popular event offers delegates the chance to meet a wide range of colleagues from across the sector, hear eminent speakers address the latest issues affecting the future of our heritage, while offering the chance to take part in a lively Q&A session. This year, Heritage Day will start at 11am with the Annual General Meeting for Alliance members only; the lunchtime reception is open to all in the heritage sector, and the afternoon session will see the political hustings led by our Chairman, Loyd Grossman.

The afternoon will also see the fourth annual presentation of the Heritage Alliance Heroes Awards.

For the full Heritage Day programme click here. To register and for full information on the day, see the Heritage Alliance website at www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/heritage-day-2014

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Heritage Alliance holds workshop on traditional farm buildings

October 2, 2014

Heritage Alliance holds workshop on traditional farm buildings

The future of our traditional farm buildings is at stake!

The Heritage Alliance, working through its Rural Heritage Advocacy Group and Spatial Planning Advocacy Group, invites you to attend a free workshop to discuss The Future of Traditional Farm Buildings taking place at Hendall Manor Barns in East Sussex on Monday 10th November 2014.

Traditional farm buildings provide the English countryside with a distinct sense of place, setting and local character. On some estimates, half have been lost since 1919, and they continue to be lost to dereliction in large numbers. Long-term economic, technological and demographic changes have left most farm buildings without a use, and national, European, and international policy and agricultural support have failed to provide for their maintenance. There is now a broad recognition among practitioners that a collective strategy and solution needs to be developed which will ensure that traditional farm buildings throughout the UK are not lost forever.

The day will discuss the current problems, which will be outlined by members of the specialist English Heritage Advice Team, The National Trust and Country Land and Business Association [both Alliance members]. Case studies will provide various solutions ranging from subsidy, via agri-environment schemes or otherwise, to good-quality conversion to new uses. This day will finish with a panel debate and open floor discussion which could help inform practitioners, and perhaps inform future EH good practice advice. 

The event will be taking place at the recently renovated Hendall Manor Barn which was awarded the Sussex Heritage Award in 2012 for its renovation work. For more information and to book your place, please visit The Heritage Alliance website at http://www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/the-re-use-of-traditional-farm-buildings/. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

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