The government is inviting expressions of interest from local authorities keen to take part in a campaign to help communities identify their most valued historic buildings and heritage assets and to work up projects for them to be protected through the planning system.

Last October, the government announced "the most ambitious local heritage campaign for decades". It is designed to encourage communities to nominate historic buildings and other heritage assets which they value most for inclusion in their council’s local list, helping to protect them through the planning system.

To support the campaign, the government is providing £700,000 of funding to councils in 10 English county areas to develop new or updated local lists.

Charles O’Brien, a leading architectural historian, commissioner at Historic England and editor of the Pevsner Architectural Guides, working closely with Historic England, will make recommendations to the government on the areas to receive a share of the funding and work with those selected to support the creation of new and updated local lists.

The funding is intended to support projects which involve a county-wide approach to developing local lists. It will, however, consider other proposals, for example, from civic/heritage groups and local historic building societies, provided there is a lead authority working in partnership with other groups.

Authorities need to submit their expressions of interest to by 23:59 on Friday 13 November 2020.

They will be considered by the independent adviser alongside advice from Historic England on areas of particular need, with an announcement on the successful schemes expected later in November.

Issues that Councils need to consider in their bids include:

  • Brief overview of current extent of local listing in area to be covered and need for funding
  • Broad outline of what proposed scheme will involve (to include details of any work on local lists which has already taken place, is in progress or is planned; and an explanation of how the local list information will be made publicly accessible including through the Historic Environment Record)
  • Broad outline of proposed community engagement strategy in developing local lists, including identity of any relevant local partners
  • Estimate of level of funding sought and what it is anticipated the funding will be used for (e.g. staff resources, community engagement, technology)

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said:

This will empower local people to protect thousands of historic buildings and preserve them for generations.
Getting more buildings listed isn’t just about keeping a building intact - it keeps a community’s identity thriving.

Local listing offers only basic protection to heritage assets and cash-strapped local authorities are often not able to take proper inclusion into the planning system forward. This funding is designed to help with that. Many civic societies have helped compile Local Heritage Lists, so they can be used to give them extra muscle to champion the local historic environment.  

Civic Voice's campaign page shows where there are current local authority local heritage lists.

Learn more about the Local Heritage Listing campaign on the MHCLG website: