£88.5 million investment to help it stand alone

The Government today confirmed plans, announced last year, to restructure English Heritage, investing nearly £90 million over the next few years. A new body to manage and promote the properties and sites in the National Heritage Collection, numbering more than 400, will be set up as well as a separate one to provide expert advice and act as a champion for the sector.

Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey said:

This new model for protecting England’s heritage and promoting its precious sites and buildings gives us the best chance for more than a generation to do both. The funding will address a backlog of repairs and enable more of our heritage to be made accessible to greater numbers of visitors.

The plan, announced in June 2013, means that the properties currently run by English Heritage – including Stonehenge, parts of Hadrian’s Wall and Osborne House – will remain in public ownership, but will be managed by a charitable trust, using the same name. The Government is providing £80m of capital investment to restore and present the properties, creating jobs, stimulating local economies, boosting the heritage workforce and improving visitors’ experience at the sites. A further £8.5 million has been allocated to fund implementation of the new structure.

No changes are proposed to English Heritage’s duties and powers in planning and heritage protection. They will be carried out by a newly-named non-departmental public body, Historic England, dedicated to providing expert and impartial advice and championing the wider historic environment. It will strengthen its relationship with owners and promote public engagement with England’s heritage.

Ed Vaizey continued:

We will create an exciting and financially-secure future for the collection of national heritage sites and monuments that tell the story of England, ensuring they remain in public ownership as they should do. English Heritage will also get new freedoms to raise money from other sources, and act in a more commercial way.

The Chairman of English Heritage, Sir Laurie Magnus, said:

We are delighted that the Government has confirmed these plans. The Government’s investment and commitment will provide firm foundations for the future success of both new organisations. The new English Heritage charity will carry out urgent conservation repairs to the National Heritage Collection and provide a better experience for visitors to those places where history happened.

The IfA responded :  10-14-IfA-EH-new-model-v2

Summary

IfA congratulates English Heritage on having successfully negotiated its future governance and funding with UK government. Discussions have been protracted, but statements issued today indicate that they have been productive. There is significantly improved investment promised for the English Heritage charity (a new body to manage properties in Government care); and there are some reassuring commitments to the future funding security of Historic England (the new name for the body that will continue all the other valued functions currently provided by English Heritage).