Dear Ms Wilson,
Today the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a consultation on proposed changes to how English Heritage delivers its services. This follows on from the Chancellor’s announcement of these proposed changes in June 2013.
It is proposed that a charitable arm will be established whose purpose will be the conservation and public enjoyment of the National Heritage Collection. Supported by Government investment of £80m, it will undertake an ambitious programme of conservation of the collection and make a series of investments to improve the experience of visitors and members. The charity will, through this programme, be able to grow its income and is expected to become self-financing by 2023. The Collection will remain in public ownership.
There will be no changes to English Heritage’s current duties and responsibilities for championing, advising on and helping to conserve England’s wider historic environment. These will be delivered under the new name of ‘Historic England’. It will continue to provide impartial advice to central government, local authorities, other heritage organisations and private owners. It will continue to co-ordinate the National Heritage Protection Plan, to manage the Heritage at Risk register and to provide access to its expert research and extensive archives. Historic England's role in promoting re-generation and sustainable growth, both within rural areas and urban landscapes, has never been more important.
We and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport believe that a charity will provide a more resilient future for the Collection. It is the first time in decades that this level of funding has been dedicated to English Heritage and it will strengthen and protect the role of English Heritage for generations to come. It will also provide distinct visibility for Historic England in the role of delivering a heritage protection system that supports growth, reduces unnecessary bureaucracy and promotes constructive conservation.
On behalf of the DCMS, we invite you to respond to the consultation document itself via the link below. The consultation will be open for nine weeks and close on February 7th 2014. Please address any questions you have about the consultation to Benjamin.Douglass@culture.gsi.gov.uk or call on 0207 211 2053.
Sir Laurie Magnus