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Historic England

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Historic England

Historic England
Formation 1 April 2015 (2015-04-01)
Legal status Non-departmental public body
Headquarters 1 Waterhouse Square, London
Region served
England
Leadership
Duncan Wilson
(chief executive)
Budget
£88.5 million[1]
Website .uk.orghistoricengland

Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local government.

The body was officially created by the National Heritage Act 1983 and from foundation until April 2015 was completed under the name of English Heritage.[2] Following the changes to English Heritage's structure that moved the protection of the National Heritage Collection into the voluntary sector the body that remained was rebranded as Historic England.[3] Historic England has a similar remit to and complements the work of Natural England which aims to protect the natural environment.

The body also inherits the Images of England project which set out to create a freely accessible online database of the 370,000 listed properties in England at a snapshot in time at the turn of the millennium.

Remit

Historic England's Swindon Office and home to their Archives.

Historic England inherits English Heritage's position as the UK government's statutory adviser and a statutory consultee on all aspects of the historic environment and its heritage assets.[4] This includes archaeology on land and under water, historic buildings sites and areas, designated landscapes and the historic elements of the wider landscape.[5] It monitors and reports on the state of England's heritage and publishes the annual the Heritage at Risk survey which is one of the UK Government's Official statistics. It is tasked to secure the preservation and enhancement of the man-made heritage of England for the benefit of future generations.[5]

Its remit involves:

  • Caring for nationally important archive collections of photographs, drawings and other records which document the historic environment of England and date from the eighteenth century onwards.
  • Giving grants national and local organisations for the conservation of historic buildings, monuments and landscapes. In 2013/14 over £13 million worth of grants were made to support heritage buildings.[6]
  • Advising central UK government on which English heritage assets are nationally important and should be protected by designation (i.e. listing, scheduling etc.).[7][8]
  • Administering and maintaining the register of England's listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered battlefields, conservation areas and protected parks and gardens.[9] This is published as an online resource as 'The National Heritage List for England'.
  • Advising local authorities on managing changes to the most important parts of heritage.
  • Providing expertise through advice, training and guidance to improve the standards and skills of people working in heritage, practical conservation and access to resources. In 2009–2010 it trained around 200 professionals working in local authorities and the wider sector.[6]
  • Consulting and collaborating with other heritage bodies, local and national planning organisations e.g. the preparation of Planning Policy statement for the Historic Environment (PPS5)[10]
  • Commissioning and conducting archaeological research, including the publication of 'Heritage Counts' and ‘Heritage at Risk’ on behalf of the heritage sector which are the annual research surveys into the state of England's heritage.

It is not responsible for approving alterations to listed buildings. The management of listed buildings is the responsibility of local planning authorities and the Department for Communities and Local Government.[10]

It also owns the National Heritage Collection of nationally important historic sites, currently in public care. However they do not run these sites as this function is instead carried out by the English Heritage Trust under license until 2023.[11]

See also

References

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  10. ^ a b
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External links

  • Official Website
  • The Historic England Archive: Search over 1 million catalogue entries describing photographs, plans and drawings of England's buildings and historic sites, held in the Historic England Archive.
  • Britain from Above : presents the unique Aerofilms collection of aerial photographs from 1919-1953.
  • Images of England website
  • Heritage Explorer: Education site for teachers
  • Department for Culture Media and Sport
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