Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

EH blames local government for 1625 buildings at risk

  • Comment

Hundreds of town halls, libraries and magistrates courts are at risk of destruction and decay according to research issued by English Heritage (EH) last week and the number is rising.

EH's Buildings at Risk Register for 2000 shows that one third of all vulnerable buildings which have been added to the list this year are owned by local authorities or central government. The news came emerged that Birmingham's Grade I-listed town hall needs £20 million to secure its future. Birmingham City Council will hear next month if it has won a £13 million Heritage Lottery grant to add to the £7 million being provided by the city council and private backers. The funds needed for this single job dwarf those available from EH itself. During the past year EHhas made grants totalling £6.6 million to buildings on the register all over the country.

The total subsidy needed to repair all the buildings onto the register is £400 million.

But EH chairman Sir Neil Cossons blamed the decline of public buildings on the reorganisation of local government. 'A large number of town halls have been made redundant by the consolidation of council services into new authorities, ' he said. Many of these buildings are today standing empty, their architectural quality struggling to assert itself through peeling paint and crumbling masonry.'

Cossons admitted that most local authorities do not have the cash to plough into costly renovations. But he delivered the owners of civic buildings an ultimatum: repair the building or sell up.

Buildings new to the register include swimming pools at City University in London and at Schriber House, Camden. The Abbey Mills pumping station in Newham features alongside Durham Castle.

There are 1625 buildings known to be at risk and 141 new buildings were added this year.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs