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English Heritage highlights buildings at risk

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Battersea Power Station, most of Hadrian's Wall and a colossal pre-1918 airship hangar all feature in this year's English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.

The list, unveiled today (24 July) includes a total of 1,235 buildings in need of repair up and down the country, although the watchdog claims £65 million is urgently needed to save the most 'problematic' of buildings.

Battersea Power Station has been on the list since 1991, and remains there despite the building being sold by Parkview to a subsidiary of Irish developers Treasury Holdings earlier this year.

Speaking from the iconic building, EH chief executive Simon Thurley, said: 'While the rising property market is making some buildings economic to repair, the outlook for historic buildings where the cost of repair is more than their value once repaired, is increasingly bleak. This is what we call the 'conservation deficit'.

'Even though many of these buildings are capable of being restored to some form of beneficial use, including housing, it does not necessarily make them economic propositions for developers, organisations or individuals.

'In consequence, and because of their outstanding national importance, they each need a degree of public subsidy ranging from £1m to £25 million.'

English Heritage has become less capable of protecting buildings since its purchasing power has shrunk by £19.6 million over the last six years following government cuts.

To view the register please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/bar.

by Richard Vaughan

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