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Heritage Alliance hits out at English Heritage budget cuts

Umbrella body the Heritage Alliance has attacked the ‘harsh settlement’ for English Heritage under the Spending Review 2013 which saw its revenue budget slashed by 10 per cent

The organisation said it was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the cut which was ‘twice as high as those to arts and museums’ and 3 per cent higher than the 7 per cent budget reduction for the whole of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Following the review, English Heritage will be split from 2015 with its a new National Heritage Collection of 420 heritage properties hived off from its planning and protection functions.

A spokesman for the umbrella body said: ‘This is not the first time that English Heritage has suffered disproportionately. The 2010 Spending Review saw a massive 32 per cent cut to revenue budget leading to internal reorganisation on a huge scale. Overall, English Heritage has taken a 38 per cent funding cut in real terms since 2011.

‘This continued reduction in revenue funding has forced [the organisation] to change its coping strategy from salami-slicing to more radical restructuring.

‘[The one-off capital grant of £80million for the National Heritage Collection] should not mask the fact that the brunt of the Spending Review cut will fall on the second part of English Heritage’s role, its statutory responsibilities for planning and heritage protection.’

Comment:

Kate Pugh, Chief Executive of the Heritage Alliance, said ‘This latest cut shows that heritage is still the Cinderella in DCMS, whatever evidence we demonstrate to the contrary. Our heritage is good for UK business is so many ways, for the tourism industry, the construction and property industries as well as the creative and cultural sectors. The coverage over the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympic Games showed how valuable our heritage is in branding the UK as a place that is good to live in, work in, visit and do business. If we don’t manage it effectively, it will not deliver the economic and social returns.

The Alliance looks forward to responding in more detail on the proposed new charity and on the National Heritage Protection Service through stakeholder meetings and through the formal consultation process in the autumn.

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