The Government today (14 October) confirmed plans, announced last year, to restructure English Heritage, investing nearly £90 million with a ‘go live’ date of 1 April 2015. The result will be a new body to manage and promote the properties and sites in the National Heritage Collection, numbering more than 400, as well as a separate organisation to provide expert advice and act as a champion for the sector.
Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey said: "This new model for protecting England’s heritage and promoting its precious sites and buildings gives us the best chance for more than a generation to do both. The funding will address a backlog of repairs and enable more of our heritage to be made accessible to greater numbers of visitors."
CBA Director Mike Heyworth said: “The Council for British Archaeology welcomes the news that the Government has confirmed its investment in English Heritage through the new model which will see the organisation split into two separate bodies. We look forward to working with both organisations in the years to come...Whilst we appreciate that there can be no long term financial guarantees, we welcome the news that the allocated budgets for English Heritage and Historic England will be explicitly guaranteed for 2014-15 and 2015-16. The planned triennial review of Historic England in 2016-17 will be an important opportunity to review progress and consider the financial needs of the organisation. Given the heritage sector’s reliance on the grant-giving capacity of Historic England we will monitor the situation closely to ensure that this is sustained for public benefit.”
The Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) congratulated English Heritage on having successfully negotiated its future governance and funding with UK government.
"Discussions have been protracted, but statements issued today [14 October] indicate that they have been productive. There is significantly improved investment promised for the English Heritage charity (a new body to manage properties in Government care); and there are some reassuring commitments to the future funding security of Historic England (the new name for the body that will continue all the other valued functions currently provided by English Heritage)."
The announcement is available on the DCMS website with supporting documentation and the business case available here.
Further information is expected shortly on the English Heritage website.