The ‘Heritage at risk’ officer’s role, as reviewed by Dan Longman in the IHBC member journal Context issue 150, on Conservation and Urbanism, has been featured on email updates from our partner service Designing Buildings Wiki (DBW), the construction industry knowledge base.
Dan Longman writes of the role (with links to DBW articles):
.. Parts of the job will be familiar to most local authorities. Working with colleagues in the preparation of conservation area appraisals and management plans has been particularly important. Appraisals allow the council to judge planning applications in the light of the significance of heritage assets highlighted in our reports. Due to past pressures, it is only now with the support of this role that much of this analysis is finally being carried out. Councils up and down the country are facing increasing workloads with fewer resources, so it is vital that temporary posts such as this help plug the gap until a long-term solution can be found.
Other major elements of the work of a heritage-at-risk officer are publicity, promotion and even inspiration. Earlier this year we collaborated with several community groups to produce a trio of heritage trails aimed at showcasing the history of Lord Street, Southport’s parks and gardens, and the Regency town of Waterloo. The Titanic’s Captain Smith once lived just a few yards up the road from the childhood home of Joseph Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line. Everton FC’s ground owes much of its past to Waterloo-based engineer George Goodison.
Back in the office I regularly update fellow employees across the whole council using our internal media network, raising the profile of the conservation team and publicising the efforts we make to enhance the historic environment. We hope these actions are inspiring people to pay more attention to their local heritage and instilling a lost sense of civic pride….’