The Local Heritage Engagement Network (LHEN) is an exciting new community engagement project for England and Wales, led by the CBA, and funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
The project will support local groups across the UK to get more involved in looking after and protecting the historic environment on their doorsteps and encourage more people to get engaged in the debates about the crucial continuation of local authority heritage and conservation services to ensure their continuation in an increasingly challenging economic climate.
The project aims to develop a network of local heritage groups who can champion the importance of their historic environment at a local level. A toolkit of resources and guidance and a programme of training and workshops will be developed to support the Network over the next four years.
The project is working with a number of key partners, including the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME), the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) UK, the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) and Civic Voice.
How can you get involved?
The Local Heritage Coordinator for the project will be speaking to groups across the country about the work they are doing and liasing with the different project partners.
We are keen to hear from any groups who are already involved in promoting, protecting and looking after archaeological sites in their local areas, and to be informed of any immediate issues affecting historic environment service provision in your local area.
To find out more about the project and how to join the Local Heritage Engagement Network please get in touch with the Local Heritage Coordinator at the CBA.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow the project on twitter @lhen_cba and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cba.lhen
The main aims of the project are to:
- Develop a new Local Heritage Engagement Network for local groups to support communities involved in protecting and speaking up for local heritage
- Develop and promote a tool kit of information and best practice guidance for groups who want to get more involved in speaking up for heritage and archaeology services in their local area
- Support and facilitate more effective communication between different groups and organisations who are working to protect the historic environment in a variety of ways across England and Wales for maximum impact
- Raise awareness of local Historic Environment Records (HERs) and their vital role in ensuring that the historic environment is properly considered and protected as part of the planning process
- Raise awareness of the potential impact of ongoing funding cuts to local authority heritage services for the historic environment and support groups who want to get more involved in debates about heritage services in their local areas
Cuts to Local Authority Services
The project is helping to raise awareness of ongoing cuts to archaeological services within local authorities, and the impact this is likely to have on our historic environment. Local groups have a vital role to play in highlighting the importance of these services and the threats that they face, and in supporting them in the essential work they do.
A number of heritage organisations are working to campaign against cuts to these services. For some useful articles please see links below.
More useful information about why archaeological services are needed and the potential impact of losing them, has been put together by The Archaeology Forum (TAF), a forum of independent archaeological organisations.
The CBA has also responded to a number of consultations on funding to archaeological services in recent months. For more information, and for copies of the letters we have sent, please see our news items on the Tyne and Wear Budget Consultation and the Proposed Budget Cuts to Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service.
Useful Links and Articles
This article from British Archaeology (May 2012) gives some useful background about cuts to archaeology services.
Rescue (the British Archaeological Trust) are actively campaigning for the ongoing protection of archaeological services across the country. They have produced an interactive map of cuts to services in recent years. They have also produced a campaigning toolkit for local groups who want to take action against cuts to heritage services. This blog post also gives some useful tips on how to discuss archaeology with elected officials.
The Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) is playing an active role in trying to ensure the ongoing protection of archaeological services. They have compiled some useful information about why local authorities need to maintain their archaeology services.
The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) has also compiled a number of useful resources and information about why local authorities need conservation skills.