IHBC NI Branch conference date: ‘Heritage for the Next Generation…. WHO PAYS!’: Keynote by John Sergeant (Strictly… ‘Barging’… and politics), 9 Nov

IHBC NIThe IHBC Northern Ireland (NI) Branch has announced initial details on its next Joint Annual Conference, to take place on 9th November, with the Lagan Navigation Trust and the Heritage Trust Network joining in exploring the theme: ‘Heritage for the Next Generation….?WHO PAYS!’, and boasting keynote speak John Sergeant on politics, ‘Strictly’, and ‘Barging around Britain’

IHBC Branch Chair Andrew McClelland said: ‘We are delighted to once again partner in the Joint Annual Conference with the Heritage Trust Network and the Lagan Navigation Trust. Our 2016 event follows in the footsteps of the successful gathering at Hillsborough Castle in 2015, and will provide a timely focus on the critical issue of funding for the historic environment in Northern Ireland.’

The event partners write:

On 9 November leading local and national heritage sector organisations are coming together to talk about securing the future of the sector in a fast moving world. In a packed programme we will learn about support networks, funding, what part we play in the community planning agenda and how we address social value in our work. We will have the chance to network over lunch and ask any burning questions in a Q& A session.

Our keynote speaker this year is John Sergeant, who will beguile us on his career as a political correspondent and contestant on ‘Strictly’ as well as the characters he has encountered whilst filming the ITV series ‘Barging around Britain’

Our mission for the conference will be to find some clarity of direction for the heritage sector in Northern Ireland, and how we find the money to pay for delivering the full potential of that vision.

The conference will be in the elegant surroundings of Grace Hall, just outside Moira and only 3 miles from the M1. Do please join us.

Further information including full programme, booking and local accommodation, should you need it, will be announced shortly.

For now, save the date. You will come away more informed and inspired to carry on doing what you do best. You will not want to miss this one!

Visit the Grace Hall website

Find out about the IHBC NI Branch

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IHBC’s Vice Chair @IOM – Heritage planning in the community: On the island; on the case, and on the radio

Manx Radio websiteThe IHBC’s recent visit to the Isle of Man (IoM) to support heritage planning in the community there, with a talk led by IHBC Vice Chair Kathy Davies, has been very well received, and included an interview on the local radio.

Kathy Davies said: ‘I was delighted with how everything went on the Isle of Man.  We had a good turnout for the whole programme, which included a workshop – a round table discussion on the main issues there – and a presentation on Community Training work that I had been involved on in England.  This consisted of guidance on understanding character and significance; how it fits in to the management of the historic environment; why we need to do this, and how a local community can do a character assessment of their area.’

‘The IHBC’s profile was excellent too, as not only did we have radio interview but we met with government officers who noted their particular interest in the IHBC’s support for professional training and standards.’

‘All in all very worthwhile, and I’d particular like to thank our local member and lead on this Ashley Pettit, as well as members of the NW Branch, who led the discussions and local staff who organised the event ’.

Manx Radio news item

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BEFS secures HES funding to coordinate the Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF)

BEFS websiteBuilt Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) has secured a grant from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to fund the running and co-ordination of the Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF), a national network of local traditional building forums working together to highlight specific issues relating to traditional buildings and building practices. 

BEFS writes:

Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) welcomes a grant from Historic Environment Scotland to fund the running and coordination of the Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF).

STBF is made up of a network of local traditional building forums with local representation who work together to highlight specific issues relating to traditional buildings and building practices. It is concerned with the lack of awareness of property owners regarding the condition of their building and the wide ranging guidance offered to property owners in undertaking these repairs.

BEFS aims to raise the profile of the forum and provide guidance and support for the STBF and regional forums on widening partnerships and accessing the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament. This will be achieved with the help of John McKinney, known in the sector for championing traditional building maintenance, who has been appointed the STBF’s Coordinator. Among other responsibilities, John will organise, promote and run national STBF events and support existing forums with advice.

‘We are grateful to Historic Environment Scotland for funding this initiative. It creates an invaluable opportunity to support and strengthen the traditional building forums and promote the exceptional work that they are doing’ said BEFS Director, Euan Leitch.

Colin Tennant, Head of Technical Education and Training at Historic Environment Scotland, added: ‘Scotland has around 450,000 traditionally constructed buildings, many of which are used today as private homes and office buildings. This forum and network offers a real opportunity for knowledge sharing as well as access to guidance and expertise at a local level throughout the country. BEFS will build upon and further develop the great work that is already being carried out across the industry, which will help shape the future of building conservation in Scotland.’

BEFS has been involved in a number of STBF’s events, including their traditional building skills event in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square Garden earlier this summer, which attracted more than half a dozen MSPs and inspired Gordon MacDonald MSP to lodge a parliamentary motion urging greater awareness of traditional skills and materials and the return on investment that this generates. BEFS has also supported STBF’s mini-golf course at the Edinburgh Festivals, which uses traditional building skills and materials for the obstacles. STBF is using the event to promote traditional building skills and materials to a range of people who would not normally attend or visit the vast array of events already organised to promote the industry.

read more….

Read more about the work of the STBF in John McKinney’s blog for BEFS

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Heritage’s ‘big economics’: HLF’s £192million+ to more than 380 waterways projects since 1994

The World Canals Conference recently held in Inverness revealed interesting statistics about canal heritage funding, and the stories behind how this funding positively affects people’s lives.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) writes:

Addressing the World Canals Conference in Inverness, Dame Seona said the canal network plays a central role in the UK’s industrial legacy, boosts present-day local economies and tourism, protects wildlife, and offers many opportunities for volunteering and skills training.

All these aspects had been addressed in HLF grant support which, since 1994, had awarded over £192million to more than 380 waterways projects.

‘We have supported a breathtaking range of projects from large-scale capital investment in heavy engineering, to ensuring the preservation of memories, and delivering the skills and training needed to ensure that the young people of today can become the guardians of our canals in the future,’ she told her audience.  Canals are also a vital natural resource, providing habitats for an abundance of plant and animal life and forming wildlife corridors passing through our largest cities out to our most far-flung regions. 

Examples of where HLF–administered National Lottery funding had transformed the fortunes of canals and waterways ranged include:

  • £25m that helped saved the Kennet and Avon following nearly a century of decline, to a modest £5,000 that enabled the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society to partner with a local organisation for visually impaired people to help them appreciate canal heritage by means of specially commissioned interpretation material
  • Meanwhile, a £2m regeneration project at the Weavers Triangle in Burnley restored a historic wharf, providing a visitor centre and space for commercial enterprises
  • In Scotland the Canal College project, awarded a £212,000 grant, found solutions to local skills shortages and high youth unemployment through a programme of training and skills development focused on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals. Twelve 14-week work programmes addressed youth unemployment in Falkirk and Edinburgh by teaching heritage and environmental skills to disadvantaged 16-25 year olds 

Of the 162 young people who took part in the Canal College project, 72% moved into similar work, further education or training once they completed their course. One of these, 20-year-old Angus Harkness, is the subject of this week’s Changing lives story.  Previously working as a labourer on the Isle of Skye, Angus secured a place at the HLF-supported Canal College before moving on to work for Scottish Canals as part of a Skills for the Future programme.  This led to a four-year apprenticeship and Angus is now the only stonemason who maintains and repairs the historic locks, bridges and other structures of the Union and Forth & Clyde Canals.

read more….

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Professional bodies warn Government of UK’s construction skills crisis post-referendum

A coalition of professional bodies representing the construction and built environment sectors have warned Brexit Minister, David Davis, that the UK’s construction skills crisis could severely worsen, if the Government does not take steps to ensure access to a skilled workforce during its post-referendum negotiations.

The CIC writes:

This warning was issued by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) who wrote to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and outlined their concerns around skills, as well as five other priorities that the UK Government should focus on in light of the UK’s Brexit vote.

They are:

  • ACCESS TO SKILLS – The greatest strength of the sector is the skill of its workforce. The free movement of labour within the EU has been vital to the growth and flexibility of the construction sector. Access to a skilled workforce of the highest quality and a focus on developing the next generation of home-grown talent are critical to ensure that the UK is able to build the homes, businesses and infrastructure needed to compete globally. The Government was urged to explore options and approaches to ensure that this access is not impeded to the detriment of the built environment.
  • COMMON STANDARDS – The UK has much to gain from pursuing an approach that makes it easier to do business with trading partners new and old. Access to markets in the EU and around the world has transformed the UK construction sector. The mutual recognition of qualifications and the development of common technical standards have reduced the barriers faced by professionals working abroad. Reducing tariffs and harmonising standards have helped UK firms of all sizes expand to Europe and beyond. These common approaches have also meant that UK businesses can support best-practice in environmental and product standards, supporting efforts on global issues such as climate change. It is imperative that governments in the UK protect and promote the UK’s role as a leader in environmental and consumer protection standards.
  • RESEARCH EXCELLENCE – The professions have benefitted from the collaborative research that the EU has enabled and promoted. Future success depends on maintaining these relationships, while forging new ties with research organisations around the world. In addition the continued success of the UK’s world class university courses training young people in the built environment is essential to the underpinning of research and the continued supply of labour for construction and allied activities.
  • INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT – The UK’s global competitiveness will be hampered unless more is done to tackle the major infrastructure challenges we face. With a housing crisis, and growing concerns around energy, telecoms, road, rail and airport capacity, UK Governments must seek and entice prospective investors to consider infrastructure of all kinds.  Providing confidence to the construction industry through infrastructure funding and development will provide stability during a period of uncertainty and ensure that the UK is well-placed to take advantage of growth opportunities in the future.
  • DEVOLUTION COMMITMENT- The referendum has brought divide between the different parts of the UK into sharp focus. The recent commitment to continuing the Northern Powerhouse is welcomed and further devolution from Whitehall should be a key priority for the UK government as powers move from the European Commission. Devolution will enable a rebalancing of the economy so that all parts of the UK can benefit from any new opportunities arising from the UK’s new relationship with the European Union, and is an effective way of ensuring infrastructure spending is efficient, timely, coordinated and accountable

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – The extensive skills and experience of built environment professionals  make them  best-placed to advise on how the built environment can unlock new opportunities and combat existing challenges, as well as provide places for people to live, work and play. Leaving the EU could present a great opportunity for the UK, but it should not be associated with a drive to the bottom in the environmental and building standards which future generations will live with.


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CMS Committee: The impact of Brexit..

The Culture Media and Sport Parliamentary (CMS) Committee is calling for written submissions on creative industries, tourism and the digital markets, with a deadline of Friday 28 October 2016.

At the same time The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has launched an inquiry on the subject of trade in non-financial services after Brexit, including construction.  The Sub-Committee has contacted a small number of organisations asking them to provide detailed written evidence about the sector as a whole, however it is not launching an official Call for Evidence.

Scope of the CMS Committee inquiry

The Committee invites written evidence on the following issues:

  • Employment in the creative industries: Will the UK be able to attract and retain talent from across the world in order to maintain its high reputation in these industries?
  • Employment in tourism: The travel and tourism industry is particularly labour-intensive and many positions are currently filled by EU nationals. To what extent will UK citizens be willing and able to fill these (often seasonal and low-paid) jobs?
  • The Digital Single Market: The UK digital sector currently is worth £118 billion a year; 43% of UK digital exports go to the EU.  How has UK membership of the EU helped to shape the Digital Single Market to date? What are the fears and advantages arising from the UK being outside the developing Single Market? What will happen to companies that have used the UK as a base for sales within the Single Market?

Lord Select Committee – read more….

Commons Select Committee – read more….

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Aylesbury Estate CPO blocked: Southwark Council to seek Judicial Review

Southwark Council has had its plans to compulsory purchase a housing estate blocked by the Secretary of State, but will challenge the decision in court.

Southwark Council writes:

Southwark Council will go to court to challenge a planning decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which could signal the end of regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate.  However, it has first called on Sajid Javid, MP, to reconsider his decision because of an error in the report.

On Friday, the Secretary of State rejected the compulsory purchase of the eight remaining properties in the first development site on the Aylesbury estate, stating that the council has not done enough to acquire the land by agreement, and that the order would breach the human rights of the remaining leaseholders by forcing them to use their savings to buy a new property. But Mr Javid’s findings are based on a former leaseholder policy which the council updated in December 2015 and shared with the Secretary of State.  But this new approach is not reflected in his decision.

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: ‘This decision puts Southwark and all councils who are trying to build new homes for our residents between a rock and hard place.  We can either fight this decision or scrap our plans to regenerate the Aylesbury estate, leaving the hopes and dreams of thousands of local people in tatters. I’m not willing to do that, which is why we will take court action if necessary to try to overturn this bizarre decision.  I honestly don’t know what the Government’s policy is on estate regeneration any more, as they say one thing and do another.  By this decision they are jeopardising plans for 800 new homes for Londoners. Of course the human rights of our residents are important, which is why each of the remaining resident leaseholders has been offered a brand new home in the same area, rent-free, and with a shared equity arrangement which protects the money they’ve saved and invested.  I’m afraid that we can’t just keep offering them more and more taxpayers’ money.

‘In his report the Secretary of State recognises that the scheme is viable, that it brings economic and  social benefits to the area and that refurbishment is not an option. Our plans offer the only way forward for the positive regeneration of an area of London that desperately needs it, and I’m determined that we will keep going to provide high-quality, affordable homes for local people. I hope he will listen to reason but failing that, we will take this to court. We will also continue with our regeneration of other parts of the estate that are not affected by this decision.’

Aylesbury resident Jean Bartlett, said: ‘Lots of residents on Aylesbury are very disappointed with the outcome, but we are relieved and pleased to hear that the council and Notting Hill remain determined that the regeneration will be going ahead. There are people across the estate who are desperately waiting to move out and see things happen and we are happy that council is not giving up on the Aylesbury.  There are still some exciting parts of the regeneration that are moving forward like the new library and community hub on Plot 18 and we are looking forward to them happening, but we need things to happen on the rest of the estate because there are still a lot of people living here who do want to see change.’

The regeneration of the Aylesbury estate will bring the following benefits for local people:

  • 50 per cent affordable homes, with 75 per cent of those at social rents and the remainder as shared ownership or shared equity homes for leaseholders
  • Mixed communities – between social rent, shared ownership and private sale
  • Improving existing open space (invested £11m to improve Burgess Park for local residents, with a further £6m to be spent over the next three years, and improved grounds maintenance)
  • Working with the Creation Trust to support the economic and social regeneration of the estate by helping residents into education, training and employment, as well as supporting a range of other projects and programmes Creation run including their resident involvement activities

View the Southwark Council press release

View the decision letter

View a London News Online article

View a Guardian article about the issues

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European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018: and call for ideas

The European Commission has published its long-awaited proposal for the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018, which includes a ‘Call for ideas’.

Europa Nostra writes:

In time for the political rentrée in September, the European Commission has today published its long-awaited proposal for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. After the initial announcement by EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics in April 2016, the Commission’s detailed proposal now sets the framework in which the European Year will take place. It sends a strong signal to both citizens and policy-makers that cultural heritage matters for Europe and is at the heart of what connects peoples, cities, regions and countries in Europe.

The European Year as proposed by the European Commission will help promoting how cultural heritage contributes to cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, to the economy and society and promote it as a key element of EU’s international dimension. The Commission proposes to implement the year by using existing EU programmes under which cultural heritage is eligible for funding, ranging from Creative Europe to Horizon 2020 but also specific actions such as the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage, which is organised by Europa Nostra. Given the importance of this Year also beyond the heritage world, Europa Nostra hopes that the EU institutions will find a way of finding adequate funding for the Year. Besides mentioning Europa Nostra as one of the key stakeholders consulted in the process, the proposal also explicitly refers to one of Europa Nostra’s recent flagship projects, ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’, which was funded by the EU Culture Programme, as a source of existing expertise.

Call for creative ideas

Europa Nostra calls on all its members, laureates and supporters to join forces for the European Year of Cultural Heritage. We are now gathering input and ideas from across our network for greater synergies and cooperation. Are you planning events or projects for 2018 or in the run-up to it? Share your plans, ideas and suggestions with us! Let us know by sending an email to our Brussels office: bxl@europanostra.org

read more….

For the background see the NewsBlogs

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Welsh Government 5-year plan released

The five year plan for the Welsh Government (WG) has been published this week, including ambitious plans for housing targets and apprenticeships as well as a commitment to ‘Work with communities to protect local facilities that bring people together, including pubs, libraries, museums, arts centres and leisure centres’ (page 13 of report).

The Welsh Government writes:

The First Minister said the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward, makes clear that the government’s relentless focus will be on driving improvement in the Welsh economy and public services, delivering a Wales which is prosperous and secure, healthy and active, ambitious and learning, united and connected.

The First Minister also confirmed that the Welsh Government’s key pledges have been maintained despite the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, including the commitment to create at least 100,000 all-age apprenticeships and the development of the South Wales Metro.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones said: ‘My vision of government is simple – enabling people to live healthy and fulfilled lives and make the most of every opportunity, and supporting them when help is needed most.  A critical five years lie ahead.  The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union creates some uncertainty and challenges, but our mandate is clear.  The Welsh Government’s relentless focus will be on driving improvement in our economy and public services, which are together the bedrock of people’s daily lives.  Taking Wales Forward outlines our key priorities for delivering those improvements. They are ambitious measures, aimed at making a difference for everyone, at every stage in their lives.

‘Together we can build a Wales that is more confident, more equal, better skilled and more resilient.  As a country we have punched above our weight, and now we are ready to do more.  I want to see a Wales which is prosperous and secure, healthy and active, ambitious and learning, united and connected. This is the Wales we are determined to build over the coming five years.’

Among the Welsh Government’s key commitments are: 

Prosperous and Secure:

  • Driving forward inward investment, innovation and the creation of new jobs by providing more support for businesses, including delivering a tax cut, meaning smaller bills for 70,000 businesses and reducing business rates bills to zero for half of all eligible firms;
  • Removing barriers to employment by creating the most generous childcare offer anywhere in the UK, providing 30 hours free childcare a week for working parents of three and four year olds, 48 weeks of the year;
  • Ensuring prosperity for all by creating a minimum 100,000 high quality, all age apprenticeships, reshape employability support for people to find and get back into work and deliver the Cardiff City Region Deal, develop a similar deal for Swansea and a Growth Deal for North Wales;
  • Deliver an extra 20,000 affordable homes, including 6,000 homes through the Help to Buy scheme;
  • Successful, sustainable rural communities: Work with partners to secure a prosperous future for Welsh agriculture;
  • Environment: Make progress towards our goal of reducing our greenhouse emissions by at least 80% by 2050, invest in the skills required for the green economy, promote green growth and innovation and continue to invest in flood defence work and take further action to better manage water in our environment; 

Healthy and Active:

  • Improving our healthcare services: continuing to improve access to GP surgeries, making it easier to get an appointment, as well as Increase investment in facilities to reduce waiting times and exploit digital technologies to help speed up the diagnosis of illness.
  • Introducing a new treatment fund to give people in Wales fast access to new and innovative treatments and work to end the post-code lottery for drugs and treatments not routinely available on the NHS;
  • Investing in our healthcare staff by taking action to attract and train more GPs, nurses and other health professionals across Wales and ensure more nurses, in more settings, through an extended nurse staffing levels law.
  • Prioritise mental health treatment, support, prevention and de-escalation, and increase access to talking therapies.
  • Care and older people: More than double the capital people can keep when entering residential care to £50,000. 

Ambitious and Learning:

  • Invest an additional £100 million to drive up school standards over the next term, continue to develop a new curriculum and invest nearly £2 billion in new and refurbished schools, community schools and college buildings by 2024;
  • Examine  ways of ensuring looked after children enjoy the same life chances as other children and if necessary reform the way they are looked after;
  • Further and higher education: Offer a package of student support that is better than that offered in England, based on the recommendations of the Diamond Review. 

United and Connected:

  • Transport: Deliver an M4 relief road in south east Wales, and improvements to the A55 in north Wales, the A40 in west Wales and other trunk roads; create a South Wales Metro and advance the development of a North Wales Metro system; develop a new, not-for-profit, rail franchise and deliver a more effective network of bus services once powers have been devolved;
  • Ensuring a fairer society by repealing sections of the UK Government’s Trades Union legislation in devolved areas and take further action on the living wage, limit the use of zero hours contracts and tackle other rogue and bad practices;
  • Bring people together digitally by offering fast reliable broadband to every property in Wales;
  • Work with local government to review council tax to make it fairer so that people with low and moderately valued properties pay less than they do now, and to provide funding to put in place a floor for future local government settlements;
  • Continue to invest in encouraging more people to use and speak Welsh in their everyday lives and work towards one million people speaking the language by 2050.

View the press release

Download the programme

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RIBA welcomes a new CE

A new Chief Executive of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has been appointed, Alan Vallance.

The RIBA writes:

Alan Vallance has been appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) following a competitive recruitment process.

Alan Vallance has a background in finance, consulting, strategic planning and general management in Europe and Australasia. He joined the RIBA in September 2015 as Interim Director of Finance and Operations and has been interim Chief Executive since February 2016. Prior to joining the RIBA Alan spent three years as Chief Operating Officer at the Law Society, the membership and regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said: ‘I am delighted that Alan Vallance has been appointed as Chief Executive of the RIBA. We had a large and strong field of applicants and the interview panel were unanimous in concluding that Alan is the right person to lead the RIBA as we deliver our 5 year strategy. As Interim Chief Executive since February this year, Alan has demonstrated his energy, drive and commitment to strengthening the RIBA’s voice and impact as a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture.’

Alan Vallance said: ‘Architects are creative, visionary and collaborative professionals who ensure that our built environment serves and strengthens communities now and in the future. It is a privilege to have been appointed to the role of Chief Executive of the RIBA. I look forward to working with the Board and Council, the staff team and members in the UK and globally to deliver the RIBA’s five year strategic plan and to further strengthen the RIBA’s offer to current and future members.’

View the press release

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Free read article- Brexit and environmental Law

Are you interested in the potential effect of Brexit on laws within the UK? If so, a free article on Taylor & Francis Online may be of interest to you- ‘Brexit and the future of UK environmental law’ by Colin T Reid.

read more….

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Local Authority conservation capacity in England: New research confirms continued decline for 10 years – 36% since 2006!

general people imageIHBC research, funded and published by Historic England, shows the nation’s local authority conservation services have continued to suffer in what is now a decade of cuts, as conservation capacity is reduced by a further 0.5% in the last year, with a shocking cumulative decline of 36% since 2006.

James Caird, IHBC Chair said: ‘The continuing decline in local authority conservation staffing is disappointing.  This is not least as it ignores substantial evidence that local conservation services are the best way – and best value – for LPAs to carry out their statutory duties under the Planning Acts as well as promoting heritage as a driver for urban and community renewal.’

‘The IHBC is doing what we can to mitigate impacts that are otherwise outside our control.  We collaborate sector-wide and in partnerships with like-minded bodies, such as the CIfA and the RTPI; offer national and local training; publish guidance, such as our Research and Guidance notes in our Toolbox, as well as offer advocacy resources, such as our Why Local Authorities need conservation skills website.’

IHBC President David McDonald, said: ‘Our evidence, both statistically and anecdotally shows that local authorities are increasingly unable to cope with the pressure of applications and therefore not able to play a full part in meeting the government’s planning objectives.’

IHBC Director Sean O’Reilly said: ‘It is especially unfortunate too that much the same long-term, sorry story is also told by the parallel archaeology service data collected by ALGAO, in work also funded by Historic England, which shows a structurally damaging 13.5% fall in local authority archaeological specialists in the last year alone.’

Fiona Newton, who led the IHBC’s role in the wider project, said: ‘This Eighth Annual Report on Local Authority Staff Resources captures the dramatic impact of local government cutbacks on heritage management.  Whilst the scale of the decline in conservation specialists has reduced to 0.5% in the last year, it still continues to fall each year and since 2006 the number of conservation specialists has fallen by 35.8%.’

‘At the same time, in the last 12 months alone the number of planning application decisions increased by 3.6% and Listed Building Consent decisions increased by 0.62%. Whilst not the whole picture of the workload of conservation staff ,these increases illustrate the picture of rising workload and decreasing resources.’

For more recent background on conservation services see for example:

Richard Bate in Context and the IHBC’s website on LA skills 

Download the Eighth report

See more resources on our listing of papers and on our Toolbox

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IHBC’s ‘Top HESPR tender pick of the week’: Orkney @ £20,000 to £30,000

HESPR_QAThe IHBC’s commercial conservation services listing, HESPR – the Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition scheme – offers members weekly HESPR Bulletins that list commercial tender opportunities, and now IHBC members can enjoy weekly ‘top picks’ from the Director through their NewsBlogs, as this week we feature a heritage tourism-linked project from Orkney valued at £20,000 to £30,000, closing on 3 October.

IHBC Chair James Caird said: ‘Our weekly tender notification to HESPR members is an innovative service that supports commercial conservation practice working to the IHBC’s standards and expectations.  These weekly NewsBlog ‘top-pick’ selections offer the wider heritage world a weekly insight to conservation practice that we hope combines good news, sector insight and service inspiration all in one.

‘So do please also let us know of any work opportunities you are involved with.  We will post them to our HESPR members, fast and for free, and they may also feature on our NewsBlogs, giving your work even more substantial profile across the sector.’

Top tender pick of the week
The Director’s top pick from the HESPR Bulletin for this week comes from Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  Heritage-linked tourism is a key factor in the economy of the islands, but such success needs to be managed, so the clients now seek a ‘consultancy report to assess the factors that might impact on the islands’ valuable tourism offer as visitor numbers continue to increase. The study findings will seek to inform a future volume tourism destination management framework that recognises the impacts and sustainable economic opportunities associated with increasing visitor numbers. The report will advise on key infrastructure constraints, and areas for potential improvements and investment.’  The contract value is for £20,000 – £30,000 and the closing date is coming up fast, on 3 October.

Find out more about the notice

For more on HESPR and how to become a HESPR member see hespr.ihbc.org.uk

Download the HESPR flyer

For a free promotion of your tendering opportunities and work needs to the IHBC’s HESPR members, please send details and links to Joanna at contact@ihbc.org.uk, as soon as possible.

Tenders can also be advertised for a fee on our IHBC Jobs etc, including a targeted email to 1600 recipients as well as full coverage on our social platforms

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Reduced rates and 3 FREE IHBC Bursary places at BLF’s Hot-Mixed Lime Mortars seminar, Coventry, 20 Oct… act fast for a special ‘IHBC members with benefits’ offer!

Hot Lime Flyer coverA one-day hot-mixed lime mortar seminar and workshop, hosted by Coventry Cathedral, has been arranged by the Building Limes Forum (BLF) for Thursday 20 October, with reduced rates for all IHBC members (£80) and 3 free IHBC bursary places for our members.

IHBC’s Chair James Caird said: ‘This is a great partnership with the BLF. The IHBC is delighted to be able to offer up to 3 free bursary places for our members to attend this workshop. It’s a real opportunity for members to broaden their awareness of practical skills and understanding of hot lime mortars.  And as the event is designed for contractors, professionals and their clients, it’s particularly good for our early career members.’

‘The IHBC targets our support to where it is most needed, so if you are keen to get our support for your attendance, please make your case to us as soon as possible, remembering in your cover submission that our criteria for the awards have to balance relevance, need and, naturally, timeliness’.

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘Delegates will be able to benefit from an excellent line-up of speakers & tutors, not least as the programme is also supported by Historic England, so it is a great networking opportunity too.’

The BLF lists speakers and tutors to include Alison Henry, Historic England; Nigel Copsey, stonemason & building conservator; Pat McAfee, stonemason; David Wiggins, structural engineer, Curtins; Alan Gardner, chartered building surveyor; Nick Durnan, stone conservator; Richard Jordan, master roofer; Simon Swann, stone conservator; Bill Revie, building materials scientist; and Craig Frew, Historic Buildings Consultant.

BLF writes:

This event is suitable for contractors, professionals and their clients who have an interest in the appropriate repair and conservation of traditional buildings and structures. The day will consist of a combination of talks and practical demonstrations, delivered by a diverse team of craftspeople and consultants from across the UK & Ireland, sharing their knowledge and experience.

The cost (including lunch and materials) is £80 for BLF and IHBC members or £100 for non-members.

The Building Limes Forum can offer a number of free or reduced price places for those who would otherwise find attendance financially difficult. Please email a note of your circumstances and, if possible, the name of somebody to vouch for you to the BLF Administrator at admin@buildinglimesforum.org.uk

You may be eligible to claim a grant from the CITB to attend this course: check out the CITB website.

This event has been made possible with sponsorship from Historic England. The BLF also acknowledges support from the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.

DOWNLOAD the booking form

To apply for an IHBC bursary please send a statement on how you see the experience benefitting your skills development and personal needs, to bursaries@ihbc.org.uk

IHBC Bursary applications are judged on an applicant’s statement of case and need as well as the timing of the application.

For more information see the website  and download the flyer

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IHBC welcomes its first Vice President: Mike Brown IHBC

Following formal agreement by IHBC trustees in April to extend capacity at the highest levels of the organization, the Board is delighted to announce the election of its first Vice President, Mike Brown, who takes up this annual, renewable, portfolio-led post linked first to ongoing sector discussions with England’s Historic Environment Forum, HEF.

IHBC Chair James Caird said: ‘The IHBC is very lucky to have Mike Brown continue to serve the Institute in this new role of Vice-President, and we are very grateful to him for his continuing contribution to its leadership.’

‘It is particularly appropriate that he should continue as a leading contributor, on behalf of the Institute, to the work of the Historic Environment Forum with which he is already closely involved.’

Mike Brown said, ‘It is a real honour to be appointed by the Trustees as the Institute’s first Vice-President and I can only express my sincere gratitude at the vote of confidence this entails.   Our Chairman, James Caird, has already charged me with a long list of tasks including keeping the Historic Environment Forum’s reform initiative rolling and helping develop Heritage 2020, the sector-wide replacement for the National Heritage Protection Plan.  I will also be helping out with government initiatives in Wales, so there will be plenty to do.’

‘I look forward to working closely with our President – David McDonald, the Trustees and our staff in ensuring the future success of the IHBC’.

IHBC President David McDonald said: ‘The IHBC’s Trustees can be congratulated on this forward-thinking appointment. It will ensure that the Institute continues, through Mike Brown, to make a major contribution to the way that historic environment professionals’ roles and responsibilities develop in the future.’

IHBC Director Sean O’Reilly said: ‘This newly-created role evolves quite naturally from our wider exploration of how we might add voluntary capacity to the Institute’s operations, a strategy that many will recognise as part of our ‘IHBC+’ programme of ‘experimental evolution’.  These ambitions are reflected also in our expansion of Committee and panel roles, as well as our new UK-wide forum for members at all stages of their career and accreditation, our popular Council+.’

‘So if you want to find out more about how to get involved get in touch with your Branch, or the national office through Carla, our support officer, who can guide you in the right direction.’

‘And remember, volunteering for the IHBC doesn’t have to be for life, but it certainly can help your career!’

For more background on Council+ see content and links in the IHBC NewsBlogs

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Historic Building Protection Funding: Parliamentary questions to DCMS

A recent parliamentary question from the Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Laytham asked Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) ‘What funding her Department is making available to protect important historic buildings’ and the Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman asked questions relating to the spread of money being given by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hansard records (Volume 614):

  • Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) (Con)
    • What funding her Department is making available to protect important historic buildings. [906188]
  • The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tracey Crouch)
    • I am disappointed that there was no hug offer straightaway. Historic buildings provide an important tangible connection to our past and bring alive our heritage in real and exciting ways. Grant support is provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for historic buildings through Historic England, the church and cathedrals repair fund and the architectural heritage fund, among others. In addition, funding is available from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Pauline Latham
    • If the Minister would like a hug, I am very willing to give her a hug. I also welcome the Front-Bench team to their places. Kedleston hall is a grade I listed building, and Kedleston Voice, an action group in my constituency, has campaigned against the granting of planning permission on land that used to belong to the estate, only for the planning inspector to overturn the council’s decision. The group believes that is damaging to the environment of the hall. Will the Minister put measures in place so that no other grade I listed building is affected by housing too close to an historic setting?
  • Tracey Crouch
    • ?I have been made aware of that particular case in my hon. Friend’s constituency. Across the House I think we all face similar frustrating outcomes in planning matters in our own constituencies when the local authority has made one decision and the planning inspector another. Ultimately, it is an issue for her to take up with colleagues at the Department for Communities and Local Government. However, there is protection of the historic environment through statutory designation and planning policy. When determining planning cases, local planning authorities must have regard to the national planning policy framework, including its policies on conservation enhancement of the historic environment. We shall consider to stress the importance of that aspect of consideration.
  • Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op)
    • Even those of us who are very interested in protecting our listed buildings and heritage get really rather angry when the heritage sector seems to stop all development, including development that could actually improve heritage sites. Will the Minister look into that, and also look at the spread of money being given by the Heritage Lottery Fund to see whether parts of the country are getting less than their fair share? [906198]
  • Tracey Crouch
    • We work closely across all Departments on heritage matters. I am very proud to be Heritage Minister, because it is an incredibly exciting part of what we can deliver in this country. I have regular conversations with the Heritage Lottery Fund. There has been an incredible distribution of its funds across the entire country, but there is of course always room for improvement. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to discuss that further with me, I am very happy to do so.
  • Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) (Con)
    • Must farm near Whittlesea and Flag Fen bronze age centre near Peterborough are among the finest bronze age settlements in western Europe. Peterborough City Council is the lead agency for developing a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for £3 million to develop a bespoke bronze age heritage centre. May I warmly invite my hon. Friend to visit the site and, more pertinently, to support that unique project?
  • Tracey Crouch
    • I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question, as it enables me to thank the Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bexleyheath and Crayford (Mr Evennett), for his excellent maternity cover in my absence. He visited the site that my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr Jackson) alluded to. There was an excellent Westminster Hall debate on this matter. I will of course be pleased to visit if my diary allows.

View the full text of the questions in Hansard

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