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New dawn for English Heritage
[h=1]Analysis: New dawn for English Heritage[/h] By Sam Burne James, Third Sector, 28 January 2014

Quote:[h=2]The stewardship of England's national monuments is going to be handed to a charity next year. Sam Burne James reports on the plans and interviews English Heritage chair Sir Laurie Magnus[/h] In some ways, the quango English Heritage already looks, feels and operates like a charity. It benefits from Gift Aid on membership and donations to its charitable arm, the English Heritage Foundation, and has a large volunteer corps numbering more than 1,000 in 2012/13, up by a quarter on the year before.

So if part of EH - full title the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England - becomes a charity as planned in April 2015, the existing foundation will be used as the vehicle; its purpose will just be extended from raising money for more than 400 major sites of English history to managing and taking care of them as well. It will also retain the English Heritage name and logo.
The part of the operation that carries the statutory duty to preserve England's wider historic environment will remain part of the commission under the new title Historic England; and the commission will divide the funding it gets from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport between English Heritage and Historic England.
A recent DCMS consultation, which closes on 7 February, says the charity will receive an initial eight-year licence to manage the National Heritage Collection and will continue to get government funding, in decreasing amounts, over that period, at the end of which it is expected to become self-financing. But half way through, in 2019, a review of licensing agreements and future contracts will take place.
The DCMS says English Heritage will not necessarily be the preferred bidder for future contracts. It says the review "will consider all options", including external tendering.

There is much more in the article.
Whilst this is a 'done deal' I feel that EH>HE will become a much bigger influence in the planning and development world in the long term. As The LGA "Graph of Doom" becomes reality will we not see local HER's and their teams under increasing pressure and financial constraint..even closure of many is on the cards. This said the only organisation left to pick up the pieces will be Historic England or English Heritage..depending on who ends up as the responsible body....
Boxoffrogs Wrote:the only organisation left to pick up the pieces will be Historic England or English Heritage..depending on who ends up as the responsible body....

If that ends up being the case there are huge cost/manpower implications, and there's no mention anywhere that I can see of increased funding for the new 'Historic England' body.

The Society of Antiquaries response is worth reading:

They highlight the issue that the consultation document is pretty optimistic about the levels of revenue to be generated by philanthropy and increased membership, with not a lot of detailed justification of the figures. In a sentence:
"The consistently optimistic language of the document itself raises serious misgivings, with no SWOT analysis, no risk analysis and no mention of any possible downsides"
My tongue was firmly in cheek...But the question does arise and need answering what of archaeology with the new regime?
Given that the EH plan for increased sales to fund their old business model led almost directly to the big cull of late 2011, I won't hold my breath waiting for the new charity to become self-funding!

As for picking up the HER pieces, that'd have to be the HE side, and nobody's promising them any more resources to take on such a big task. Not only would it require an enhanced version of the NMR database to incorporate all those different HER records (Gov't computer systems development track record, anyone?...), but they'd have to somehow re-house all the paper records from LAs and make them accessible. Remember that sparrow in Bede's allegory? Welcome back to the darkness.
My thoughts exactly. Given that they only have eight years to pull it off and no guarantee after that to be even preferred bidder what then? If they collapse under financial pressure at say year six who picks up the tab then?

Will HE still be the governments moth piece on all things heritage or will they distance themselves? It's all a fun game isn't it!

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