Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Chief Executive of English Heritage

  Please find attached some clarifications I would like to be included as footnotes to the transcript of the Select Committee on 1 May into UK Heritage and Conservation. I would also like to offer a longer clarification to the question from Mr Fabricant regarding church grants.

  First, I can confirm that we are reducing the money we give to cathedrals. Between 1991-92 and year-end 2001-02 our Cathedral Grant scheme has offered 34.1 million for urgent repairs—on average 3.1 million per annum. This investment has substantially improved the overall condition of English cathedrals and there are now very few urgent repairs pending. There will however, continue to be a repair requirement into the foreseeable future. We have, therefore, reduced the level of funding we are offering to cathedrals to 2 million a year from 2002-03.

  On reading my response, on page 12, to Mr Fabricant's question I believe I may have misled the Committee with regards the way we intend to reinvest this money. The money will go towards providing regional resources to support the activities of voluntary organisations that promote the conservation, understanding and enjoyment of the historic environment. It will also support pilot schemes that encourage regular condition surveys and planned maintenance. In funding such schemes, we will be looking for maximum delivery against our various objectives, including training and education, and access and inclusion.

  Money for parish churches will remain at 10 million per annum; a figure that has remained constant since 1996. The money is distributed as part of the Joint Churches scheme, to which the Heritage Lottery Fund contributes at least 10 million per annum. English Heritage, therefore, administers at least 20 million per annum on behalf of parish churches. Some parish churches will also benefit from our new regional funding, which has as one of its targets the support of maintenance schemes implemented by owners of significant numbers of historic properties. Examples include Church of England Dioceses, Railtrack or its successor and large landowners such as some of the estate companies or bodies like the National Trust.

  I apologise for any confusion that may have been caused by my original answer. If you would like further information please do contact Oliver Pearcey, Director of Conservation.

10 May 2002


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