National Trust response to English Heritage New Model announcement

The Government today confirmed plans, announced last year, to restructure English Heritage.

This will see the division of English Heritage into a charity looking after heritage sites and a statutory body called Historic England.

Ingrid Samuel, National Trust Historic Environment Director says:

“This is a very important moment for the future of heritage in this country. This innovative step to divide English Heritage changes the landscape, and it offers a real opportunity to support stronger heritage protection through a new Historic England.

“As a charity dedicated to looking after the nation’s natural and built heritage we need both English Heritage and Historic England to remain strong partners with the sector, having access to the resources and support they require.

“Appropriate levels of funding are crucially important to achieving this, and we welcome the Government’s commitment to financial certainty into the next financial year.

“However, careful monitoring will be necessary in future to ensure both English Heritage and Historic England have the resources they require over the long-term.

“We are pleased that the Government intends to review progress and funding for both bodies, but they must be prepared to act if required. We hope these reviews will seek the opinions of the Trust and others on how well the changes are working.

“One immediate concern is whether English Heritage will be able to build up sufficient reserves early enough to cushion them in moments of need. We have always said it is vital that Historic England is insulated from the business risks of the new charity to ensure it can remain a strong champion and effective regulator for the historic environment. This, along with a broad remit, is particularly important as local authority heritage provision continues to come under increasing pressure.

“With future spending reviews it is vital that all political parties show commitment to supporting England’s heritage.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the two new bodies to safeguard heritage.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-model-for-english-heritage-moves-a-step-closer-following-consultation

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