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Barbican Heritage group to be launched

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The City of London's planning committee is to meet next week to confirm the creation of Barbican Heritage, an organisation that will be hugely significant in the future of the iconic central London estate.

The independent group will be charged with bringing in all external funding for the upkeep of the Barbican buildings.

It will make bids to such organisations as the Heritage Lottery Fund and will also take control of the Corporation's end of the deal that has seen the estate have a special conservation strategy in the listed building system.

Extremely importantly, it will become responsible for winning planning permission for any changes that are needed to the estate.

Critics are likely to claim that the creation of Barbican Heritage means that the City of London is washing its hands of its responsibility for the important architectural heritage of the area.

They will point to statements such as this one from next week's planning papers: 'The City of London Corporation would not be asked to provide funds to progress the project; neither would Barbican residents be asked to bear the cost of the conservation strategy through the service charge.

'Should Barbican Heritage not obtain sufficient funds to implement certain aspects of the strategy, these projects should be deferred until sufficient time that such funding could be found,' the statement adds.

by Ed Dorrell

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