Only one week left to bid for Coastal Revival fund!

Coastal Communities in England have only one week left to place applications for the Coastal Revival fund, which can benefit historic buildings and structures.

DCLG writes:
As the summer season comes to an end, seaside communities are being given the opportunity to bid for funding to smarten up and revive cherished piers, striking icons and atmospheric arcades. Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois yesterday (7 September 2015) urged communities to bid for a £3 million Coastal Revival Fund to help communities kick-start long awaited restoration work and bring back into use hard-to-tackle buildings, landscapes, facilities and amusements. The revived sites will attract visitors, boost the economy and be proud landmarks for future generations to enjoy. The fund will also act as a catalyst to drive additional financing from the private and charitable sectors.

The National Piers Society has said that Weston Birnbeck Pier, Bognor Pier, Herne Bay Pier, and Swanage Pier are some of the historic structures that could benefit.

The government is determined to unlock the economic potential of seaside towns. The successful Coastal Communities Fund has already invested some £120 million in over 220 projects across the UK to help seaside towns diversify their economy to be year-round success stories.

Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois said: From historic piers, seafronts to lidos our coastal towns are awash with striking icons which we want to celebrate but may have fallen into neglect and disuse over time. I urge communities to bid for this £3 million Coastal Revival funding ahead of the deadline so they can kick-start restoration work and drive further investments so these icons can be restored to their full potential.

This government is committed to reviving our seaside towns and our multimillion pound Coastal Communities Fund is having a big impact on seaside economies. At least £90 million more will be spent in the coming years. The Budget announced the Coastal Communities Fund will continue for another 5 years with a pot of £90 million.This will give communities another chance to take forward their vision for improving their seaside town.

Statistics from VisitEngland show a rise in the numbers of holiday trips being taken in the UK for the first quarter of the year – the highest number in almost a decade. Visits were up 18% on 2014 in England. Earlier this summer, a study by Barclays Business poll of 2,000 adults found that more than three-quarters of people are planning or had already been on a holiday within the UK this year. It found that in 2014 turnover for businesses in the accommodation and food sector rose 11% from the previous year, which is the largest annual increase since 2006.

View the press release

View more information about the fund

IHBC NewsBlogs on funding

IHBC NewsBlogs on coastal issues

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IHBC NewsBlog feature – Heritage science report and the 1st International SEAHA conference, UCL, July 2015

Following the first International SEAHA (Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology) conference at University College London (UCL) in July, on heritage science, which included as keynote speakers IHBC director Seán O’Reilly alongside Steve Trow, Historic England, and Nancy Bell of the National Archives, SEAHA doctoral student and conference co-organiser Elizabeth Keats Webb offers an overview of the two day programme.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) is an 8-year initiative (2014-2022) to establish infrastructure to meet challenges set by the heritage sector, industry and government.   Established by University College London in partnership with University of Oxford and University of Brighton, in collaboration with heritage, scientific, engineering and industrial partners, SEAHA’s first international conference was hosted by UCL on 14-15 July 2015. 

SEAHA Doctoral student Elizabeth Keats Webb writes:
The first international SEAHA conference can be deemed a success! On July 14, 2015, nearly 180 delegates came together at the University College London for two days of presentations, posters and discussions on heritage science research, innovation and best practice in the interpretation, conservation, management and digitization of cultural heritage. Delegates gathered from 20 countries from around the world for an impressive turnout representing scientists, researchers, engineers, professionals, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers engaging globally with the emerging trends in the field.

The programme included 24 talks, 75 posters, and a round table discussion on ‘The Future of Heritage Science.’ May Cassar, Director of the UCL Institute of Sustainable Heritage and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training SEAHA, kicked off the conference, ‘Looking back; thinking forward: SEAHA’s contribution to the development of heritage science.’ Three keynote speakers presented over the two-day conference including Steve Trow (Director of Heritage Protection at Historic England), Sean O’Reilly (Director of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation), and Nancy Bell (Head of Collection Care at the National Archives UK and Co-Chair of the National Heritage Science Forum).

The programme was divided into sessions focusing on the SEAHA streams of digital, environment and materials.

  • The Digital Sessions included presentations on text mining medieval documents, challenges of mass 3D digitization, innovative processing of RTI data, and inflatable domes for immersive virtual reality reconstructions.
  • The Environment Sessions included presentations on particle deposition, indoor particulate matter pollution, microclimates and display cases, and modeling of heat and moisture transport for risk analysis and collections management.
  • The Materials Sessions included presentations on the cross-disciplinary research project and the Staffordshire Hoard, risk assessment of salt laden building materials, VOC analysis and care of modern materials, modeling the chemistry of oil paint media, gel cleaning technologies, and reconstructing a lost colour chart from technical imaging and analysis.

The presentations and posters covered a breadth of topics and disciplines representing the very nature of the emerging field of Heritage Science.

The final session included a Round Table Discussion on ‘The Future of Heritage Science.’ Panelists represented academia, heritage institutions and industry and engaged in an insightful discussion exploring three questions:

  • What are the critical issues related to heritage science careers particularly in industry, heritage organizations, and academia?
  • What a unique offer of heritage science graduates might be in terms of these careers?
  • How cross-disciplinary training can ensure that these developed skills are competitive?

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the support of our six commercial exhibitors and the advice and guidance the from Steering Committee of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology.

We hope you will consider joining us again next year at Oxford University during the summer of 2016.

c. Elizabeth Keats Webb 2015

Conference background

DOWNLOAD Book of Abstracts offers more information about the presentations and posters presented at the conference

View videos of the Round Table Discussion and the Q&A with the audience

View photos from the conference

Visit the Heritage Science Research Network website 

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BOOK NOW – places filling fast for this year’s IHBC London Branch Conference!

‘Setting The Scene – Identifying and Conserving Historic Landscapes’, takes place on Thursday 8th October, and with member discounts available, is a not-to-be missed event.

Find out about a range of historically important landscapes from urban parks and cemetaries to open countryside and look at the methods of assessing the impact development can have on them. Case studies include Highgate Cemetary, the Barbican Estate and the impact of wind/solar farms and HS2.

This year’s conference again takes place in Sir Denys Lasdun’s Grade I listed Royal College of Physicians, NW1 and will be of relevance to conservation officers and other heritage professionals, planners, landscape architects, engineers, surveyors, architects, and archaeologists.

And don’t forgot that the Conference will provide an opportunity to gain CPD training for both IHBC members and members of other professional institutes. A CPD certificate will be available to delegates at the end of the day.

For full details and booking see:

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Opportunity- £1.5million Scottish train station repair funding

Abellio-Scotrail and Transport Scotland are advertising a new fund for railway stations which allows applications for structural work, physical repair and the re-use of vacant station facilities for community benefit (deadline 31 March 2016).

ScotRail and Transport Scotland write:
ScotRail and Transport Scotland are seeking applications for a £1.5million community fund, designed to breathe new life into old and disused railway station premises.

The Stations Community Regeneration Fund enables business and community groups to transform redundant station rooms into facilities to benefit local people.

Any projects that will aid communities or rail passengers will be considered for grants of between £5,000 and £75,000. Bids may also be made for larger sums, dependent on in-depth feasibility studies.

Grants can be used to contribute towards the costs of any structural repairs and to assist with the costs of fitting out station premises for their intended use.

Applications will be assessed on whether they fit with the existing building, businesses and local area, how they meet a market or community demand, and the future benefits expected from the proposal.

The Stations Community Regeneration Fund will be managed and administered by ScotRail with applications being evaluated jointly in conjunction with Transport Scotland. Full information available on the website.

View the funding call

IHBC newsblogs on funding

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Jewish Heritage’s ‘Synagogues at Risk’ report update

IHBC members and those who attended the recent annual school in Norwich will recall details of the talk by Dr Sharman Kadish of Jewish Heritage UK, and will be interested to know of the new synagogue condition survey report, which shows improvements in conditions from the last five years, and details of repair projects undertaken. 

Jewish Heritage UK writes:
Britain’s historic synagogues are in better shape than they were five years ago, according to Jewish Heritage’s latest report published this week.

This is especially the case in London where all but one historic synagogue are now rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Fair’ in terms of the key indicators by which  ‘Risk’ is measured in the Heritage world: ‘Condition’ and ‘Usage’. The biggest threats to historic synagogues are poor maintenance and redundancy because of falling membership.

Big repair projects have been carried out at Sandys Row on the edge of the city and at Golders Green, thanks in large part to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Both buildings are now experiencing a new lease of life, contrary to many expectations.

Britain’s oldest ‘cathedral synagogue’, Singers Hill in Birmingham, that for years fought closure, is also enjoying a renaissance. Now finding itself In the centre of a regenerated city centre quarter, this building has undergone renovation largely funded privately by members and has acquired a dynamic rabbinical couple who are turning the shul once again into a hive of activity.

Leicester’s Orthodox congregation have opted to sell off their 1950s hall across the road and to hang on to their distinctive late Victorian synagogue, shown on the cover of the Report. Their foresight has paid off: since 2012 they have landed no fewer than three publicly-funded Heritage grants, totalling almost £145,000, for repairs to the building, development of educational resources on site, as well as for a documentation project of the turn-of-the-20th-century Jewish Section at the city’s Gilroes Cemetery, that was opened soon after the synagogue (in 1902).

The Report’s author, Dr Sharman Kadish, commented, ‘All these examples demonstrate the fact that well-maintained buildings stimulate more activity inside them.  Jewish Heritage’s aim is to preserve the powerful link between Binyan [building] and Minyan [community] for the benefit of future generations.’

Challenges remain. The Report highlights a group of highly graded Victorian synagogues: Liverpool’s Princes Road (Grade I), Bradford’s Bowland Street (Grade II*) and Brighton’s Middle Street (Grade II*) as in need of urgent work to arrest further deterioration. This is especially true in Bradford, where an HLF Repair Grant has been awarded for the first time. In all these places small enthusiastic congregations have worked hard not only to make their shul a widely recognised hub for local Jews, but also a magnet for many non-Jewish visitors, including school parties, especially during this month’s national and European Jewish Heritage Open Days.

‘At Risk’ synagogues are most likely to date from the early 20th century and to be located in the North of England. Sunderland, Blackpool and Liverpool’s Greenbank have all now closed and are seeking appropriate new users.

The recently announced capital development grant for the Manchester Jewish Museum, housed in the city’s Victorian Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, is set to bring the amount of public funding contributed to historic synagogues to nearly £5 million.

View the IHBC Annual School Storify featuring information from the Jewish Heritage UK presentation 

View the press release

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Protecting the green belt from unauthorised occupation

New guidance has been launched this week by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to help protect those who lead a traveller lifestyle as well as prevent unauthorised development within green belts, offering guidance on procedures for site allocation in development plans and measures to deal with enforcement issues. 

DCLG writes:
Special planning rules designed to support England’s travelling community will only apply to those who lead a genuine travelling lifestyle, under changes that came into force from today (31 August 2015).  The measure is part of a wider crackdown on unauthorised occupation of sites, to ensure all communities are required to abide by the same planning rules.

Under a new package of reforms, there will also be greater protection for the countryside and Green Belt, while councils will continue to have a range of powers at their disposal to tackle the illegal encampments that make their law-abiding neighbours’ lives a misery.  Between 2000 and 2009 there was a 4-fold increase in the numbers of caravans on unauthorised sites – creating tensions between travellers and the settled populations.  Today’s new policy makes clear the need to ensure fairness in the system, with planning policy reflecting the requirement that caravan sites should be made available for those who travel permanently.  In addition, it will mean any application for a permanent site, including caravan sites, by someone who does not travel will be considered in the same way as an application from the settled population – rather than being considered under policies relating to travellers.  Today’s changes also tackle the current situation, where councils without an up-to-date supply of caravan sites can find that protections of the Green Belt can be eroded.

The new planning policy ensures this is no longer the case where proposed developments are in protected areas – such as Green Belt land, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or National Parks.  In addition, where previously councils were required to provide sites for people evicted from large-scale unauthorised encampments that happened to be in their area, like Dale Farm, this will be removed.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:  I’m determined to ensure fairness in the planning system, so everyone abides by the same rules.  Today’s new policy strengthens the hand of councils to tackle unauthorised development in their area, ensures all communities are treated equally and that the protection of the Green Belt is enforceable.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:  Unauthorised traveller sites can blight communities, causing misery for their neighbours and creating resentment that planning rules don’t seem to be applied fairly.  Today’s revised planning policy clearly sets out the protection against unauthorised occupation and that the rules apply fairly to every community equally – no ifs, no buts.

View the press release and download the new guidance

IHBC NewsBlogs on green belt issues

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Independent report into the future of Welsh museums

The independent report into the impact of funding cuts and changes by Local Authorities has been released by the Welsh Government, reccomending ten action points and changes to secure the future of museums services.

The Welsh Government writes:
The Deputy Minister commissioned the Expert Review of Local Museum Provision in Wales last October to look at the impact funding cuts and organisational changes by local authorities were having on local museums.

The Panel was chaired by Dr Haydn E Edwards, Vice-President of National Museum Wales – Amgueddfa Cymru and the retired Principal and Chief Executive of Coleg Menai who has a background in education and science. The Panel were tasked with producing an all-Wales report, with research, analysis and comment on the current delivery of local museum services and identifying potential sustainable future models.

The final report makes 10 recommendations for securing the future delivery of local museum services, including creating three Regional Bodies to provide operational direction, management and support for locally delivered museums, and the establishment of a national Museums’ Council to provide collective leadership and co-ordinated activities at a national level for the museum sector.

Other recommendations include establishing Collections Wales, to develop and safeguard collections across the country and that museums operated by local authorities should be given relief from National Non-Domestic Rates on the same basis as museums operated by charities.

The Welsh Government and museum governing bodies are also asked to review the current policy and practice of charging for museum entry.

The Deputy Minister said:  ‘Local museums are an important part of healthy and vibrant communities. They encourage active participation in culture, protect our heritage, provide educational opportunities and contribute to our tourism industry. However, most rely heavily on local authority funding, making them particularly vulnerable in times of decreasing budgets.  This is why I called for a widespread and independent review of the delivery of local museum services in Wales, to give a picture of the current situation and to make recommendations of sustainable future delivery, so that we can ensure these important services and the national heritage they care for, can be protected for future generations.  I would like to thank the panel for their work in completing this report. I will take time to consider the recommendations and respond in due course.’

As part of the Review the panel obtained information from a wide-range of sources through regional meetings, interviewing representatives from the sector and issuing a call for evidence.

Dr Haydn E Edwards said:  ‘Local authority museums provide an important and valued service to their communities. Their collections are part of our local and national history and our report recognises this.  I’m grateful to all that have contributed to this report and hope that through the implementation of the ten recommendations the foundations for a resilient, flourishing and well-supported new museum sector will be established.’

View the press release

View the full report

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Scottish planning review promised

The Scottish Government has announced it will review the operation of its planning system.

This exercise will ‘identify the scope for further reform with a focus on delivering a quicker, more accessible and efficient planning process, in particular increasing delivery of high-quality housing developments.’

The administration said this review would ‘ensure that planning realises its full potential, unlocking land and sites, supporting more quality housing across all tenures and delivering the infrastructure required to support development’.

This will involve streamlining, simplifying and improving ‘current systems and removing unnecessary blockages in the decision-making process.’

View the Programme for Government 2015-16

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Historic England’s architectural ‘red boxes’ online

Historic England have digitised over 600,000 images held in the ‘red boxes’ collection and made these available online as part of the England’s Places website. 

Historic England writes:
Our Architectural Red Box photo collection is now available online on the England’s Places website. Until recently, you had to visit the Historic England Archive in Swindon to browse this massive collection of over 600,000 photographs. Now we have digitised the contents of the Red Boxes so that researchers can browse them from anywhere in England and beyond.

The collection covers the whole of England, and is made up of photographic prints mounted on cards. The cards are stored in 6,750 boxes, all arranged by county and parish.

During the digitisation project, damaged and vulnerable prints were conserved and each card was photographed using a digital camera. Now you can browse the boxes virtually and see the 600,000 images on the England’s Places website.

As well as the photographs themselves, we’ve captured the handwritten notes identifying the place and specific building names which appear on many of the cards. We’ve also made sure that you can view the backs of the cards, which often contain more information about the particular view, date or photographer.

The National Buildings Record started the Architectural Red Box Collection in 1941 to document our built heritage, especially those buildings threatened or damaged by bombing during the Second World War.

The initial core of the collection came from photographic records collected by the Courtauld Institute of Art in the 1930s. Over the following years hundreds of thousands of images were added, including photography taken for the National Buildings Record, and other collections acquired from both commercial and amateur photographers. The collection was closed to new material in 1991.

The collection includes images dating from the 1850s and the early development of photography in the 1850s up to the 1990s. Subjects include churches and country houses, historic buildings and modern architecture. There are street scenes and village-scapes which bring to life Victorian and Edwardian England, alongside photographic records of buildings threatened with destruction during the mid-20th century.

Within the collection, there are images by eminent photographers such as Bill Brandt, architectural specialists like Bedford Lemere and Company, and numerous professional and amateur photographers.

View the press release

View the England’s Places collections

IHBC NewsBlogs on archives

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Digital data in NI – technology improving town centres

Community planning in Northern Ireland is being given a digital boost, with a ‘techies in residence’ programme helping to make the most of vacant spaces in Belfast town centre.

PLACE Northern Ireland writes:
PLACE is delighted to have been selected, along with Development Trusts NI (DTNI), to take part in the Techies in Residence programme (TIR). We see the TIR programme as an opportunity to join the dots in terms of community planning by mapping the potential of unused space across inner city Belfast. We want to make repopulating vacant spaces easier, faster, and more creative. A key factor in that is taking away much of the mystery surrounding property ownership, rates, contracts, and other formalities that can disinsentivise smaller, independent businesses, community groups, and cultural organisations from stepping in where retail has died off.

PLACE is keen to begin to make data that are already available fit for public use as well as gathering and exposing new data that show how people use the inner city areas. We want to establish an evidence base and accurate policy information to support a more vibrant and resilient inner city. We know that there is significant demand for short, medium, and long term reuse of vacant retail units & void sites. We want to take available data and work with our Techie to make it less unwieldy; simply, to present information to the public in an attractive and useful way.

The Techies in Residence (TIR) programme is as an initiative of the Building Change Trust, which in turn has been funded by Big Lottery Fund. CultureTech have been appointed by the Trust as Managing Agent for the ongoing development and delivery of Techies in Residence.

View the blog

View the ‘Techies in Residence’ website at

Find out more about PLACE at

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2015 Georgian Society Awards: Deadline 30 October

The 2015 Georgian Group awards are now open for entries, with seven categories and a deadline of 30 October. 

The Georgian Group writes:
Our Architectural Awards, sponsored by international estate agents Savills and now in their thirteenth year, recognise exemplary conservation and restoration projects in the United Kingdom and reward those who have shown the vision and commitment to restore Georgian buildings and landscapes. Awards are also given for high-quality new buildings in Georgian contexts and in the Classical tradition.

Entries for the 2015 Awards are now invited.

Projects must: fall within one of the award categories listed below; be located within the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or Isle of Man; and have been completed or be due for completion between 1 January 2014 and 1 September 2015.

Please send digital images and a brief description of your project (including details of the project team) using either Drop box or the free file sharing service We Transfer. In either case use as the recipient address. Please do not send entries direct by email to that address as large files are likely to exceed server capacity and may not be received.

You may enter a project in more than one category, or leave it to us to allocate if you are not sure which category best fits your project. For restoration projects, please include both before and after photographs.

The deadline for entries is Friday 30 October 2015. Shortlisted entrants will be notified by 13 November. If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to produce an illustrated exhibition board for the awards ceremony. This will be held in central London in December 2015.

The award categories are:

  • Restoration of a Georgian Country House
  • Restoration of a Georgian Interior
  • Restoration of a Georgian Building in an Urban Setting
  • Reuse of a Georgian Building
  • Restoration of a Georgian Garden or Landscape
  • New Building in the Classical Tradition
  • New Building in a Georgian Context

Questions and further information: Please ask Robert Bargery,, 020 7529 8920

IHBC Awards etc

Georgian Group Awards

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NewsBlog feature: IHBC’s ‘LETS’ Liaison Officer update – Almost a year on and 200+ prospective applicants & 5000+ in events

Derby Round House

IHBC Membership Support Seminar – Derby

Kate Kendall, IHBC’s officer responsible for supporting Branches and networks across our ‘Learning Education Training and Standards’ (LETS) agenda, updates on her IHBC work, in which she has helped advise 200+ prospective applicants and network with c.5000+ at events.

Kate writes:
Since commencing last September 2014 I have travelled around the country and visited many places I’ve never been to before and met some lovely people, members of the IHBC as well as colleagues within the wider historic environment sector. Alongside getting out and about to spread the IHBC word, one of my main roles has been supporting Affiliates by helping explain and, where needed, demystify the application process through supporting and enabling Branch-led seminars.

Branch support events
Over the year I have attended 10 events in the Branches. Amazingly there have been over 200 attendees! It has been a great opportunity for me to get out into the Branches and meet colleagues across the country.

Generally the seminars have taken place in the afternoon or into the evening, to accommodate work pressures, or tagged onto the back of other events to make the most of people attending.  The presentation has been evolved into a standard but flexible format that can work well across the very varied needs in different Branches.  The model, developed from seminars pioneered by Branches in 2013, has provided a great starting point in terms of both the presentation and establishing the format.

Today the seminar has three critical elements:

  • an overview of the membership process
  • a slot from a recent successful applicant, and
  • a short breakout workshop session to help delegates focus on how to approach demonstrating their skills across each of the four Areas of Competence.

These workshop sessions are led and facilitated by Branch and Membership Committee volunteers – Full Members – who move from table to table to provide advice and guidance about the areas of competence, consider examples suggested by delegates, and to answer questions.  Informally known as the ‘speed dating’ part of the programme, these sessions are the part seen as the most personally helpful to many of those attending.

Branches, critically, lead in the organisation of the seminars, especially in terms of booking venues, encouraging prospective delegates, and providing operational support, all areas especially helpful given my part-time role.  Equally I can offer advice and support on the detailed arrangements, such as linking to national committee members  – helping secure assessors to attend the events – and on what resources the national body can offer to help delegates have an enjoyable as well as a useful networking and learning opportunity; with various refreshments on offer according to circumstances.

Event feedback and evolution
Delegates can feed back through a short ‘survey monkey’ questionnaire. There has been a limited response to the survey, as is to be expected, however many constructive and positive comments have been received, and these have helped refine the model we are developing for these seminars.

All respondents felt that the content of the seminar has provided them with the assistance they required to understand the process and where appropriate develop their full applications.  Specific comments referred to the sound advice provided, although one respondent still felt that the application process still remained daunting. This is a shame as the approach of the seminars has been to provide encouragement and demystify the process, but equally we have to be clear about the core standards that the membership application process must adhere to.

A recurring theme from early feedback was that attendees felt that more time would have been useful to discuss the competences in more detail.  It is this element of the seminar that has been adapted to allow for more time for attendees to ask questions, to share their case studies and experience as applicable to the application.  However delegates are extremely busy too, so time is necessarily limited, but we always offer the chance for further questions to be raised with volunteers and myself after the event as well.

Feedback has been really helpful and positive, with one attendee saying: ‘Very informative and useful session. Kate and her colleagues have inspired me to get on with completing the ‘full membership’ application file which has been on my desk for too long!’

Another said: ‘… Found it extremely useful, especially talking to people who had done it and were able to give a different perspective on examples you could use to meet the competences. The whole process isn’t quite as intimidating as before.’

This feedback is encouraging as it is good to know that the seminars are providing the support and encouragement intended. Of course constructive criticism is also valued as it helps refine and improve the seminar content and format.

Forward plans
With over 200 attendees at the seminar to date the next stage in the process is to collate data to find out how many of the attendees have successfully applied for their full membership. This will be undertaken in conjunction with the Membership Committee Chair and the IHBC Membership Services Officer. The data will be shared in the coming months. 

Finally I would like to thank the Branches and members who have helped the seminars in any way be it taking bookings, arranging venues, contributing on the day for the competence workshops and the recent full members who have contributed to the presentations, in particular Alice Ullathorne, also a member of our new ‘Council+’. The success of this training is down to a partnership between the National Office and the Members who have willingly volunteered their time. It couldn’t be done without them.

Kate Kendall:

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IHBC’s new Guidance Note (GN): The Use of injunctions in heritage cases in England and Wales

The IHBC has just launched the next in its new practitioner support Guidance Note programme, accessible through the institute’s web developing ‘Toolbox’ resource, which explores the proper use of injunctions in heritage cases in England and Wales.

This guidance note aims to assist conservation specialists in England in their understanding of the mechanism of injunctions in more detail in order to enable a more effective dialogue with their legal colleagues.

In particular it will assist all of those who have issues with unauthorised works to listed buildings, especially in cases where it has immediately come to light that unauthorised works to a listed building are taking place, a request to stop work has been ignored, a Listed Building Stop Notice does not exist and ascertain what can be done as a matter of urgency.

The topics covered within the guidance note include:

  • What is an injunction and why would one be used?
  • The alternative to an Injunction
  • Legislation applicable to Injunctions
  • Types of injunction -Ex parte injunctions, preliminary injunctions
  • Procedures
  • The need for personal service and contempt of court
  • What to do in cases where the identity of the person who may be responsible is unknown
  • Costs
  • Some case examples

The guidance note is written by IHBC’s Research Consultant Bob Kindred. 

This is one of a series of occasional Guidance Notes published by The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC).  IHBC Guidance Notes offer current and recent guidance into topics that we consider crucial to the promotion of good built and historic environment conservation policy and practice.  The Notes necessarily reflect knowledge and practice at the time they were developed, while the IHBC always welcomes new case examples, feedback and comment to for future revisions and updates. 

For links to the Guidance Notes see the IHBC Toolbox

For links to the Research Notes see the IHBC Toolbox

Background on the IHBC Toolbox

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IHBC Annual School 2015 – Day School Digital Storytelling

Digital highlights from the afternoon sessions of the IHBC Annual School at Norwich are revealed in this week’s NewsBlogs, with the social media posts of conference delegates and attendees telling the story of the day school

The day school included a packed programme of speakers, as well as an exhibition area.  The two part Storify features tweets and photographs of the day. Part 1 was released in a previous NewsBlog.

The Day School was followed by the AGM, annual dinner and announcement of Gus Astley award winners.

Thanks again to all of our digital storytelling volunteers for all of your tweets, blogs, videos and photographs.  The next Annual School NewsBlog will be released soon, featuring Saturday tour highlights and a ‘special highlights’ section which focuses on different types of online posts created at the school with tips on how you can do this in your own branch or to boost your own positive professional online footprint.

View the Storify of the IHBC Annual School Norwich afternoon session (no social media accounts required)

View the previous NewsBlog on IHBC Annual School in Norwich

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Endorse the NHTG: a voice for heritage craft skills!

Following a decision by the construction sector training body, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), to withdraw core funding for The National Heritage Training Group (NHTG) from 2016, the NHTG board seeks sector endorsements to continue its work and help avoid heritage skills becoming just another sub-category under ‘Repair and Maintenance’.

The NHTG writes:
To date, CITB have provided core funding for the NHTG to promote and support heritage craft skills training and qualifications in addition to providing a voice for the heritage craft skills sector. However, the CITB have now decided to cease their financial support for NHTG from the end of this year, as they believe heritage training is better served by funding construction industry federations and training groups which have a heritage theme.

The NHTG Board strongly disagree with this decision and believe that there remains a vital individual and collective coordination, promotion, lobbying and supporting role to be played by an independent UK wide organisation.

Ray Robertson, Chairman of the NHTG said ‘More than ever, the heritage skills and traditional building crafts sector needs its own strong and influential voice if it is to continue its battle for recognition and support. As the construction industry continues to recover from recession, the alarming skills gaps in the heritage sector previously identified by NHTG have become obvious to all’.

Ray went on to say: ‘The decision to cease funding for NHTG has been taken at this time of greatest need, when our national architectural inheritance is being put at critical risk, not only by a lack of skills but by a lack of awareness as to why a building designed in 1895 must be treated differently to that designed in 1985’.

Cathie Clarke, General Manager of the NHTG said: ‘The role of the NHTG is to encourage and assist heritage craft skills development at all levels across the industry. Over the last twelve months, the NHTG has demonstrated its ability to respond to the needs of the sector and has increased its effectiveness and influence.  It has provided a wide range of products and services, including some still in their early stages’.

As part of its day-to-day services the NHTG runs a Helpdesk and a comprehensive online Traditional Building Crafts Training Directory and Information Centre. This unique service promotes heritage craft skills training, events and careers to everyone including young people who are particularly important to the future sustainability of our built heritage. Where else can you go to find this type of specialist training information?

The NHTG has therefore reconsidered its financial position and is confident that despite the withdrawal of CITB funds, the organisation can continue to maintain a presence in the sector, for a further three years utilising existing resources.

Ray Robertson stated: ‘We now have the opportunity of a radical reassessment of practicalities and priorities in establishing the most effective role and most productive activities that are best undertaken by the NHTG to support the industry. For the first time we will be a truly independent organisation. We have the exciting opportunity to change the title of the organisation so that it better reflects our priorities and objectives’.

Ray goes on to say: ‘It is our belief that the industry and in particular the individual federations, heritage agencies and other organisations directly involved, wish to continue to have a coordinated voice on heritage and traditional building skills and that the NHTG is best-placed to fulfil this role’.

The NHTG wishes to continue to work and act on behalf of the UK heritage craft skills sector, and welcomes support and input from any individual or organisation that is interested in developing a positive and pro-active strategy for the sustainability of these skills. It is important that the views of all stakeholders on how traditional building crafts can best be supported in future are understood and explored and therefore the NHTG is keen to receive support from any interested parties.

Please send all correspondence to

For more on the NHTG see and NHTG News

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English councils urge local planning fees

The Local Government Association (LGA) has set out a broad range of proposals for the Government to consider as part of the Spending Review, including setting planning fees by council.

The LGA says that locally-set planning fees would ‘ensure effective, responsive and fully funded council planning services, removing the burden from taxpayers who currently subsidise 30 per cent of total costs’. 

The LGA writes:
All [are] aimed at streamlining public services, generating investment, and protecting social care and health – all while saving the public purse almost £2 billion a year by the end of the Parliament.

This report is the LGA’s offer to work with the government to deliver new, transformed and high-quality local services while at the same time reducing costs to the public sector. The LGA believes the Spending Review should:

  • Enable wider integration of social care and health services to deliver savings and improve outcomes.
  • Promote growth and productivity by accepting the case for further devolution of powers and funding.
  • Help councils adequately resource and deliver high quality public services by transforming the business rate mechanism and providing a four year local government finance settlement. 

Planning Portal blog

UK Local Gov article

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