Advocacy Work

Advocacy is one of the 4 key objectives of our strategy, we are a loud and confident voice, working with Government and policy-makers in Westminster.

We advocate on behalf of our members to preserve the value of Heritage, and to protect and support Heritage organisations so that our sector can make a positive contribution to contemporary society.

Our regular policy work includes:

  • advocating and influencing
  • responding to government consultations
  • making representation to APPGs and Select Committees
  • writing letters to ministers
  • meeting frequently with key contacts in government
  • attending stakeholder groups

We regularly engage with our members to ensure that we accurately represent their views.

Advocacy Groups

Our Advocacy Groups track relevant parliamentary business, including the progress of Bills, debates, questions and EDMs, making representation as appropriate. They support the development of policy and legislation by providing written and oral evidence to Select Committee inquiries and government consultations.

Group membership is only available to Heritage Alliance members. To join an Advocacy Group or a Working Group, please contact our Head of Policy & Communications at

Hover over or click on each box to read more information about the group.

Rural Heritage

Co-Chairs: Peter Gaskell (Countryside & Community Research Institute, University of Gloucester) & Jonathan Thompson (CLA)

Faces the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The Rural Heritage Advocacy Group aims to review and influence policies that impact the management of the rural historic environment.

Currently, the key focus of the group is the future of Rural Heritage after Brexit. The group is working to ensure that any replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Environmental Land Management Scheme, protects all historic landscapes, archaeological remains, traditional farm buildings, and landscape features such as dry stone walls and field patterns. The group is represented on a number of ELMS Stakeholder Groups and is in the process of designing a Test & Trial for ELMS. The group is also concerned with the Environment Bill.

Spatial Planning

Co-Chairs: Henry Russell & Charles Wagner

Faces the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG).

CIfA LogoSponsored by The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA).

The key focus of the Spatial Planning Advocacy Group is planning policy affecting the historic environment. The Group, through the Alliance, is a member of the National Planning Forum, the principal cross-sectoral voice on planning issues and aims.

The group is currently focused on the Government’s proposals to radically alter the planning system through their Planning for the Future proposals.

Funding And Investment

Co-Chairs: John Sell, (Joint Committee of National Amenity Societies / HEF), Tiva Montalbano, Giles Woodhouse, Sara Willis (all Wessex Archaeology).

Faces Her Majesty’s Treasury.

The Funding and Investment Advocacy Group aims to review and influence the development of funding policy for heritage and to support members in their capacity to access funding.

Key issues for the group include the disparity in VAT between new build and repair, maintenance & retrofit, as well as the future of funding for heritage charities after Brexit. Previously the group have worked on the relaunch of the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the creation of the Alliance’s Funding Directory.

Skills, Education And Engagement

Co-Chairs: Victoria Wallworth (National Historic Ships UK) & Ian Baxter (Heriot-Watt University)

Faces the Department of Education and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Skills, Education and Engagement Group brings together the expertise of Alliance members to influence education, volunteering and engagement policy, promote the role of the NGO heritage sector as a provider of world-leading educational programmes and opportunities for skills development, and act as a means of information exchange and best-practice sharing amongst members.

They hope to collate best practice for advocacy and inspiration and act as a hub for collaboration amongst Alliance members.

Mobile Heritage

Chair: Stuart Wilkinson (The Transport Trust)

Faces the Department of Transport.

The Mobile Heritage Group was formed to review and influence policies that impact upon the management of Mobile Heritage, which includes planes, trains, vintage vehicles and boats.

Working Groups

Marine Heritage Working Group

Concerned with Marine Heritage issues.

The Marine Heritage Working Group aims to monitor and react to policy relating to the marine historic environment.

Tax Working Group

Faces Her Majesty’s Treasury.

The Tax Working Group brings together a range of stakeholders and members to explore how the tax system can be reformed to benefit the Heritage Sector.

Currently the Group is focused on how the Government could best address VAT disparity for the repair and maintenance of historic buildings.

Historic Religious Building Alliance

Chair: Trevor Cooper

The Historic Religious Buildings Alliance brings together those working for a secure future for historic religious buildings. They work with those concerned with places of worship of all faiths and denominations, throughout the United Kingdom. HBRA are an independently-funded group within the Heritage Alliance.

HRBA publish a weekly newsletter that is free to everyone, and anyone can attend their annual conference, known as ‘The Big Update’. They also provide occasional ad hoc briefings on current issues, and we can act as a channel for members in consultation with central government and other stakeholders.

Visit HRBA