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News

News and updates from The Heritage Alliance team.

More of the latest news from The Alliance, our members, and from across the independent heritage sector, can be found in our fortnightly e-bulletin, Heritage Update.


Book your free place at our first-ever International Event!

September 12, 2018

Book your free place at our first-ever International Event!

The Heritage Alliance is extremely pleased to announce the formal launch of its first-ever International Report, sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Heriot-Watt University, to be held on 27th September at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Places are limited so book now.

The event will be centred around a discussion on the report and its findings, and will serve as an opportunity to highlight the 8 recommendations that were made to encourage international collaboration, as well as to shape The Heritage Alliance’s response to the Government’s soft power strategy and Michael Ellis’ ’10 questions to the sector’.

Speakers include:
– Lizzie Glithero-West, THA CEO
– Kate Pugh, author of report
– Ian Baxter, THA trustee, Confucius Institute [sponsor]
– Sue Medway, Chelsea Physic Garden
– John Darlington, WMF
– Jonathan Keates, Chairman of Venice in Peril Fund
– Camilla Nichol, UKAHT
– Judy Cligman, HLF
– Helen Thomas, British Council
– Robert Bewley, Director EAMENA
– Emma Squire, Director DCMS

For more information, and to register for our event, please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-heritage-alliance-international-report-2018-launch-tickets-48948844311.





Heritage in the Marine Environment: Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations

September 11, 2018

Heritage in the Marine Environment: Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations

The Heritage Alliance has published a policy paper on heritage and the Marine environment in relation to DEFRA’s Fisheries Bill and other developments in this area after Brexit.

The Fisheries Bill provides an opportunity to address not only fishing heritage but the broader maritime heritage of UK coasts and seas, including some unhelpful attributes of EU environmental regulation in the marine sphere. In particular, the Fisheries Bill presents an opportunity to recalibrate definitions of the marine environment that currently ignore the human, cultural and historic dimension of the seas around us.

The principal request of the Heritage Alliance with respect to the Fisheries Bill is that it defines the marine environment to encompass cultural heritage rather than excluding it.




August 17, 2018

Nominations open for Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Heroes Awards 2018

 Please submit the nomination form by email before 30 September to Henry Cleary, Maritime Heritage Trust and member of the Heritage Alliance Board at jhenrycleary@gmail.com.

The award is a wonderful way to raise awareness of the generosity of the sector’s volunteers and to say thank you where they have far exceeded expectations. England’s heritage sector simply couldn’t function without the hard work and dedication of its volunteers. Research found that in 2015 8% of people volunteered their time in the heritage, museum or library sectors equating to roughly 4.2 million people. Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Heroes Award is the Heritage Alliance’s celebration of the amazing achievements of volunteers. Nominate a volunteer today!

At Heritage Day 2018, the key event in the heritage sector calendar, the winner will receive a framed original Pugin-designed tile from the Palace of Westminster. They will also be invited to produce a five-minute video explaining their volunteering achievement to the audience and will be featured on the Alliance website and across social media. The winner also receives up to £150 toward travel costs.

In 2018 we will again make an outstanding contribution award, introduced last year, for an outstanding contribution by an individual made over a period of years.

We are grateful to Ecclesiastical Insurance for their support for these awards.

Anyone can make a nomination, but only volunteers for Heritage Alliance member organisations listed here, or their member organisations, can be nominated.

Nominations should demonstrate either:

(a)  a significant achievement in the heritage sector:

  • Completed in the past 18 months by a volunteer or group of volunteers
  • Professional projects can be eligible for consideration provided they have been funded or managed by volunteer effort’

Or (b) an outstanding individual contribution to heritage over a period of years.

The achievements or contributions must have made a real difference in bringing heritage to a wider audience, locally or nationally.




A New Chair for the Heritage Alliance

July 31, 2018

A New Chair for the Heritage Alliance

The Heritage Alliance is delighted to announce that Peter Ainsworth has agreed to be its new Chair from December 2018.

Peter Ainsworth has over 30 years of commitment to public life. Following a successful career in banking, which he combined with serving as a local councillor, Peter entered Parliament in 1992. During his time as an MP Peter was the shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1998-2001) and then the shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (from 2001-2002, and again 2005-2009). Peter is currently Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, which thanks to National Lottery players gives grants for the improvement of communities across the UK. He is also Chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Peter will go forward for election as a trustee at The Heritage Alliance’s AGM on 6 December. Thereafter, if approved, he will assume the role of Chair from Loyd Grossman CBE, who will be standing down at the AGM at the end of his third and final term of office.

Peter Ainsworth said:

“It’s a great honour to have been asked to succeed Loyd Grossman as Chair of the Heritage Alliance.

“At a time of economic, social and political challenge the values and lessons gifted to us by the past become even more potent. The vast diversity of our historic buildings and landscapes provides thousands of jobs and is the cornerstone of our vital tourism industry. Just as important is the sense of joy, and sometimes awe, to be gained from visiting a great house, a medieval church, or a humble cottage steeped in history. This is for everyone today; it is the duty of our generation to pass it on to the future.

“I look forward to getting to know more about all of the Alliance’s different member organisations very soon.”

Loyd Grossman said:

“After nine years as Chair it is time to step down and I can think of no one better able to fill the role than Peter Ainsworth. He brings the right combination of political and Board-level experience, as well as sheer unadulterated enthusiasm for this country’s unique and glorious heritage in all its many shapes and sizes. I will be very sorry to step down at the end of my final term of office in December, but I know that the Alliance will continue to go from strength to strength with Peter at the helm.’

Lizzie Glithero-West, The Heritage Alliance’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are all delighted to welcome Peter Ainsworth onto the Alliance Board and his energy and enthusiasm for the Alliance is already so evident. I very much look forward to working with him. There will be many exciting opportunities and much to do in the months and years ahead, and members will be greatly reassured to know that we have someone of Peter’s stature and ability to speak up for them in all the key political and policy debates.”

For any further information or background quotes please contact Lizzie Glithero-West on 020 7233 0800.

Full press release here




Become a Trustee for The Heritage Alliance.

July 26, 2018

Become a Trustee for The Heritage Alliance.

Become a Trustee for The Heritage Alliance.

The Heritage Alliance is looking for three new trustees to join its Board from December 2018.

In addition, the Alliance is looking for a Treasurer to take over from Richard Norton in December 2019. Early co-option of a new Treasurer, who is also a trustee, will allow for there to be a proper period of handover with Richard.

The Alliance will be entering an exciting new phase in December 2018, when a new Chair is presented to the AGM (part of the Heritage Day event on 6 December) following the ending of Loyd Grossman’s final term of office. Alongside the new Chair, our aim is to put forward three or four new trustees for election by the membership.

The Alliance is keen that its board is reflective of the full range of heritage represented by its members. The Alliance is also keen on promoting the diversity more generally of its Board members. We therefore particularly welcome applicants from women, disabled people and individuals from Black and Minority ethnic communities.

For more information please see the attached job description. If you are interested in having a further conversation about the role, please contact the Deputy Chair Ben Cowell on ben.cowell@historichouses.org.

We would be grateful for initial expressions of interest in this role by 7 September.

The role description can be found here: Trustees role description July 2018







Could you be Chair of The Heritage Alliance?

May 29, 2018

Could you be Chair of The Heritage Alliance?

The Heritage Alliance is looking for a new Chair, to be appointed at its Heritage Day and Annual General Meeting in December 2018.

The Chair will be responsible for overseeing the work of the charity, and for convening meetings of the board of trustees. They will be a dynamic ambassador for the independent heritage sector, being a vocal advocate for the cause of the Alliance’s diverse membership of 120 separate heritage organisations. They will take the lead in driving the next phase of the Alliance’s development and ensuring its sustainability as one of England’s most prominent and recognisable advocates for heritage.

The Chair serves a three-year term, which is renewable. The current Chair, Loyd Grossman, will step down in December after serving three successful three-year terms. For more information please see the role profile, or contact Ben Cowell, the Deputy Chair of The Heritage Alliance, on 020 7259 5688 (the office number for Historic Houses, where Ben is based) or ben.cowell@historichouses.org.

Closing date for applications is 11th June.




Heritage Alliance publishes first ever international report

March 28, 2018

Heritage Alliance publishes first ever international report

The Heritage Alliance has published the first ever report on the independent heritage sector’s impact overseas.

The report, sponsored by the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication at Heriot-Watt University, makes recommendations for building on the success of the overall sector which already generates £21.7 billion a year. The Heritage Alliance hopes that the report will not only help develop international opportunities for a post Brexit Britain but also inform international discussions such as April’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 in London.

Loyd Grossman, Chairman of the Heritage Alliance, said: ‘We’re delighted that this report has so clearly demonstrated that our world-leading heritage skills are already doing so much to support ‘Brand Britain’. We hope that, as we enter a new post Brexit landscape, these recommendations will galvanise the Government to support the independent heritage sector to maximise its already impressive economic impact and soft power role.’

England’s heritage industry is already a major contributor to the national economy – directly generating at least £10 billion in gross value added (GVA) and indirectly generating 2% of national GVA (£21.7 billion)[i]. This is more than the agriculture and aerospace sectors combined.

Our heritage is front and centre of the UK’s unique offer on the international stage, from our enduring success as a tourism magnet powered by our famous historic houses and monuments, to our world-leading expertise in pioneering heritage science to our archaeological accreditation process. Although recognised in principle by the Foreign Secretary, much of this enterprise by the non-government heritage bodies is undertaken below the official radars, or those arranging trade delegations and other cultural bodies.

The report highlights examples of the sector’s expertise and explores some of the innovative projects in case studies (summarised in the notes to editors section below). It notes that Heritage Alliance members are engaging in at least 38 countries across all seven continents; and how cultural relations developed by these civil society organisations add a ‘values’ dimension to soft power rankings, offering an independent and complementary network to government diplomacy (increasingly important as traditional diplomacy with countries such as Russia becomes more challenging). However, the report notes that international heritage work, especially by the UK’s vigorous civil society movement, is badly served by current statistics.

The recommendations set out in the report are a starting point for Government to crystallise the support it promised to the voluntary heritage sector’s international work in its ‘Heritage Statement’[ii] in December last year. The Heritage Alliance report recommends:

  • Support for backfilling posts especially when senior expertise in small organisations are concentrating on international work;
  • Travel bursaries to help promote exchanges of heritage professionals and students in support of project work;
  • A Heritage Alliance event with partners to explore international engagement and funding opportunities;
  • A similar initiative to the Artists’ International Development Fund to facilitate international exchange in a heritage context;
  • Visa exemptions for accredited experts and academics in the field should be considered after Brexit. Any visa system should be based on skills required, not on salary levels, and work both ways – exporting as well as importing key skills;
  • Funders should consider the benefit of allocating small grants to cover translating training resources and other outputs where appropriate;
  • The British Council, Historic England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Foreign Office should consider where and how heritage and heritage ngos can be a positive resource, integral to their international work; and
  • The Heritage Alliance to work with DCMS to better track the impact and potential of the independent heritage sector internationally.

You can read the report in full here.

Case studies

The report contains case studies on the international work of the independent heritage sector:

World Monuments Fund Britain: Accessing Cultural Protection Fund funding to work in the Middle East

UK Antarctic Heritage Trust: Caring for a whole continent

Venice in Peril Fund: Patience and persistence

The Institute of Conservation: Cultural Exchange Tour to China

The Ragged School Museum: Japanese interest in UK C19th social child care

Chelsea Physic Garden: A historic seed exchange initiative still bearing fruit

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings: A world-renowned scholarship programme

Historic Transport Bodies: International leadership

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists: Working globally for professional standards

Historic Houses: Universal challenges for private owners

International National Trusts Organisation: Supporting existing and emerging trusts

Notes to editors: 

  1. Heritage Counts, Heritage and the Economy 2017: https://content.historicengland.org.uk/content/heritage-counts/pub/2017/heritage-and-the-economy-2017.pdf
  2. The Heritage Statement, DCMS December 2017: ‘We will work with Historic England and other partners to encourage and support public, private and voluntary sector heritage organisations to work internationally and create international partnerships and to increase their capacity to do so’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-heritage-statement-2017
  3. The report, initiated by The Heritage Alliance through a survey of its members in 2017, was completed by Kate Pugh.
  4. The Heritage Alliance gratefully acknowledges sponsorship of production costs by the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication at Heriot-Watt University.
  5. The Heritage Alliance unites well over 100 independent heritage organisations in England as a powerful, effective and independent advocate for heritage. As England’s biggest coalition of heritage interests it brings together independent heritage organisations from the National Trust, English Heritage, Canal & River Trust and Historic Houses Association, to more specialist bodies representing visitors, owners, volunteers, professional practitioners, funders and educationalists. Its members’ 7 million volunteers, trustees, members and staff demonstrate the strength and commitment of the independent heritage movement. Visit: theheritagealliance.org.uk/ @Heritage_NGOs



Help shape the future of The Heritage Alliance

March 9, 2018

Help shape the future of The Heritage Alliance

Please fill out this short survey to help The Heritage Alliance build the evidence base for a resilience bid to strengthen the Alliance and build the capacity of our staff and volunteers for the long term. This will form an essential part of our membership, benefits and systems review this year. We would be so grateful if you can spend a few minutes helping us get into the best shape for the future.




Commons Select Committee inquiry into the social impact of participation in culture and sport response

Commons Select Committee inquiry into the social impact of participation in culture and sport response

The Heritage Alliance has submitted evidence to the Commons Select Committee inquiry into the social impact of participation in culture and sport. Of the Inquiry’s five major themes we focused our answers on health and diversity as that is where work some of our new work has developed in recent months. Read our response.




Pre-commencement planning conditions consultation response

Pre-commencement planning conditions consultation response

The Alliance has responded to the Government’s consultation on the use of pre-commencement planning conditions

These are conditions imposed by a local authority when granting planning permission which must be met before work can start. We have supported the Government’s moves to ensure that clear information is provided on why such conditions are being imposed and the proposed ability to impose conditions where an applicant has not responded to a proposed condition. However, we have argued that the Government should also allow local authorities to impose heritage related pre-commencement planning conditions to ensure that existing protections for heritage are not undermined. We have also called on the Government to carry out an impact assessment before proceeding with the policy. 

Read our response here.