Backing the Bedrock 2020
The Heritage Alliance has published this year’s ‘Backing the Bedrock’ – setting out five fiscal and funding priorities for the heritage sector in 2020.
This document represents shared priorities across our diverse membership and details five funding and fiscal measures that the Government should consider to provide our world-leading heritage sector a positive future. It follows Backing the Bedrock 2019, which we published last year.
Five funding and fiscal measures will give our world-leading heritage sector a positive future:
- Champion our world-leading heritage sector on the world stage – maximising Brexit’s opportunities, and minimising its challenges for heritage.
This means maximising the potential of the Shared Prosperity Fund for heritage, buying in to EU funding schemes, avoiding tariffs on restoration materials and ensuring that the new Environmental Land Management System delivers for the historic environment.
- Ensure continued funding for the heritage sector and its workforce as we recover from the dual challenges of Brexit and Covid-19, including through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and a well resourced Historic England.
This includes safeguarding the @HeritageFundUK, continuing to provide funding as the effects of Covid-19 endure, ensuring that Heritage England is adequately funded and ensuring that DCMS continues to support, fund and encourage other heritage organisations.
- Promote heritage assets as part of creating vibrant places and more homes, and as a key ingredient in rebuilding the economy post Covid-19.
To do this, Government needs to work with the sector to develop further programmes that help heritage address important public priorities (including housing delivery), including building beautifully.
- Reform the tax regime to promote the repair and maintenance of our nation’s irreplaceable heritage assets.
This means the equalisation of VAT on repair and maintenance with that of new build, reducing the income tax on heritage maintenance funds, continuing the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme and reducing the burden of business rates on the heritage sector.
- Help the heritage sector to attract more investment and engagement and build sector skills and capacity.
To do this, the Government should continue to support heritage projects which create a sense of place and support other sectors. We need to ensure a cross-subsidy mechanism to support skills training and apprenticeships and funding for heritage science and conservation research.