Political parties urged to preserve heritage funding

By Rosemary Collins, 5 May 2017 - 9:31am

Heritage associations have called for EU and National Lottery funding to be preserved 


St Mawe's Castle, Cornwall (Credit: ChrisAT)

All political parties must commit to preserving funding for UK heritage, according to leading bodies in the sector.

The Heritage Alliance, a coalition of over 100 independent heritage organisations including the National Trust, English Heritage and Historic Houses Association, has released its Heritage Manifesto 2017 ahead of June’s snap general election, urging political parties to “realise the power of heritage”.

In particular, the Alliance calls on politicians to maximise the political advantages of leaving the EU for heritage, and minimise the disadvantages, including matching and sustaining funding currently provided by the EU, which has given at least £450m to UK heritage related projects and scientific research over the past decade.

The manifesto also recommends ensuring that any replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) promotes the protection and good management of rural heritage assets; preserving EU environmental protection regulations; funding collaborative conservation research projects between the UK and EU countries; and ensuring that any new visa regime includes a reciprocal exemption for accredited heritage and museum professionals, craftspeople and academics.

The Alliance argues that investing in heritage delivers value for money because the heritage industry directly generates at least £10bn in gross value added (GVA) and indirectly generates 2% of national GVA. Britain’s heritage also promotes “social cohesion, rootedness and identity” and provides a backdrop to successful TV programmes such as Poldark and Downton Abbey.

The manifesto notes: “The battle to protect our heritage is far from won, as high-profile campaigns to ‘save’ historic landmarks and thousands of buildings at risk show.”

The heritage organisations are also calling for all political parties to protect the 20% share of National Lottery Funding for the Heritage Lottery Fund, and to reduce VAT to 5% for the repair, maintenance and improvement of all buildings.

Currently, there is no VAT charged on new builds but 20% for work on historic buildings, creating an incentive to demolish them instead.

Other demands from the manifesto include making it compulsory for councils to provide historic environment services, and supporting small-scale apprenticeship programmes in heritage.

To read the manifesto, click here.

WDYTYA? LIVE to close its doors
previous news Article
Ancestry to fund The Secrets in My Family TV series
next news Article
WDYTYA? LIVE to close its doors
previous news Article
Ancestry to fund The Secrets in My Family TV series
next news Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here