Written evidence submitted by The Heritage
Alliance (arts 76)
Heritage-led tourism alone generates
a return four times as great as the whole DCMS budget and many,
many times greater than central government expenditure on heritage.
Heritage missed out on the "golden
age" for the arts and culture. DCMS funding for heritage
fell by 19% 2000-10 while spending on arts rose by 42%.
The Heritage Alliance recommends
a proportionate approach to Departmental public spending cuts
given that DCMS is the Government's second smallest Department
and that much of the heritage economy lies outside DCMS control.
The Heritage Alliance recommends
focusing this comparatively small public expenditure judiciously
to support the broader heritage sector
to deliver economic, environmental, social and educational benefits;
to attract public, commercial and
private investment as well as civil society action.
The Heritage Alliance is the largest coalition
of non-government heritage interests in England. Together its
members own, manage and care for the vast majority of England's
Established in 2002 by the voluntary heritage
groups themselves, the Alliance brings together 83 major organisations
from specialist advisers, practitioners and managers, volunteers
and owners, to national funding bodies and organisations leading
regeneration and access projects. Their specialist knowledge and
expertise across a huge range of issues is a highly valuable national
resource, much of which is contributed on a voluntary basis for
public benefit. They are supported in turn by thousands of local
groups and around five million members, with a huge volunteer
inputsome 485,000 a year.
The Heritage Alliance believes that our heritage
offers a firm foundation for economic and social recovery:
Heritage tourism contributes £20.6
billion to GDP a year supporting a total of 466,000 jobs.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that "Heritage is a key reason
why people come to Britain; we should play it up, not play it
down." (Serpentine Gallery, 12 August 2010)
Increased visitor numbers have mitigated
the impact of the recession even at this stage in the economic
cycle, and tourism is expected to grow by 3.5% between 2009-18well
above the general prospects for growth.
The Lake District initiative found
that every £1 expenditure on farm building repairs resulted
in a total output of £2.49.
On the basis of repair costs over
30 years, the cost of repairing a typical Victorian terraced house
is between 40 and 60% cheaper than replacing it.
Local businesses positively rate
historic environment regeneration schemes for raising pride in
their local area, enhancing community identity and encouraging
more people to come to the area.
In a survey of historic environment
regeneration areas, over 90% of people who lived and worked locally
agreed (and over 30% strongly agreed) that these projects had
improved their quality of life.
Our heritage continues to inspire:
the number of voluntary archaeology groups active in the UK has
doubled since 1987 representing over 200,000 individuals
and across England there are hundreds of thousands of volunteers
actively engaged in caring for their local historic environment
which adds to the public sense of wellbeing.
four out of five young people aged
11-14 say that knowing more about buildings and places around
them makes them and their peers behave better.
1. What impact recent, and future, spending
cuts from central and local Government will have on the arts and
heritage at a national and local level
1. The main sources of heritage funding
Private investment by owners/managers,
including the development/tourist industry, in maintenance as
well as regeneration and enhancement programmes, and investigation
and interpretation work to enhance public benefit.
The National Lottery, specifically
HLF funding but also Arts Council funding and BIG for community
projects; National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Private philanthropy, including independent
trusts and foundations; non financial philanthropyin-kind
donations and volunteering.
Central government, primarily through
DCMS, CLG, and DEFRA, their agencies and sponsored bodies; local
government and partnerships.
2. The DCMS budget of £5.3 billion
for 2008-09 amounted to 0.8 % of total government spending, and
the architecture and history element is just 4% of that (£0.23
billion). As much of the heritage economy operates outside DCMS
direct control, any reduction in funding will have a much greater
impact than this tiny figure suggests.
3. DCMS funding to English Heritage (EH)
supports the heritage protection regime and the wider heritage
industry to achieve public policy objectives. DCMS figures show
EH funding was cut even when DCMS itself received above inflation
increases and when other DCMS Arms Length Bodies received increases
(Arts Council England (+41%), Sport England (+182%), Museums,
Libraries and Archives Council (+199%). So heritage missed out
on the "golden age" for the arts and culture.
4. Since 1997, EH has received grant settlements
of below inflation, resulting in a real terms reduction of £130
million. As a result, past economies have squeezed the grants
made by EH, now £32.3 million (2009-10). Heritage projects
are rarely wholly publicly funded with most forms of grants attracting
private funding, usually much more than the grant itself. They
support local businesses not only in the repair and development
stage but subsequently by attracting other investors in turn so
the impact of cutting EH grants is far greater than the sums disbursed.
5. Previous cuts may have been partly masked
by the property boom, but the legacy of the recession together
with the increase in VAT from 2011 is going to put enormous strain
on this remaining resource. Cutting the few funds available to
historic fabric, especially those "at risk", regardless
of ownership, will make the sector even more heavily dependent
on HLF project-orientated funding which is not assured after 2019
and which is not available to capital projects in the private
Cutting English Heritage support to buildings
on the Heritage at Risk register by 40% would have resulted in
the loss of up to 460 Grade I and II* buildings during the period
6. Executive capacity is also under scrutiny.
Our recommendations for English Heritage's strategic priorities
2010-15 identified its key responsibilities as being the formal
adviser to government and in supporting the sector through grant
giving, advocacy and professional expert advice. For English Heritage
to do more for less, it needed to work more effectively in partnership.
We recommended that English Heritage would be wise to invest strategically
in partnership working, in order to deliver more of its objectives
in the longer term. DCMS operates through a range of smaller NDPBs.
These, frozen like English Heritage under the last government,
have already taken a 3% cut this year and are vigorously pursuing
independent revenue. If cut too far, too soon, they will not have
the capacity to develop alternative income streams.
7. Turning to non DCMS funding, one significant
source of heritage funding is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
for the way it affects countryside management. DEFRA funding for
heritage within the £3.9 billion Environmental Stewardship
Scheme 2007-13 is essential in drawing down the European commitment
and stimulating private sector funding. It illustrates again that
without government intervention, some significant sources of funding
could be put out of reach.
Without the dedicated £8 million per annum
funding for traditional farm buildings under Rural Development
Programme for England (RDPE), it is estimated that 300 buildings
per annum and, over the seven years of the RDPE (2007-13), 2100
buildings would become derelict through lack of maintenance, to
the detriment of our historic landscapes and their economies.
8. Local government involvement in heritagenon-statutory
leisure and cultural services as well as planning and historic
environment servicesis absolutely critical in generating
the local identity and civic responsibility that are the twin
foundations of localism. So much is in a state of flux that predictions
are difficult but already we are seeing plans for across the board
redundancies and closures in non statutory cultural resources
such as museums.
9. Regular research into the provision of
historic environment staff in local authorities has been carried
out by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)
and ALGAO with English Heritage.
The IHBC survey of building conservation staff
shows a continued and dramatic decline from 2006 to date. In 14
months from November 2009 to January 2010 the numbers of building
conservation staff in local authorities has declined by 6.9%.
This decline in staffing resource is almost double the rate of
loss over two years between 2006-08 and highlights the negative
impact local authority cuts are already having on the protection
of our heritage. Current reports from Local Authorities show that
this trend is continuing even more steeply.
Only with a trained workforce can we ensure
the historic environment attracts that all-important inward investment
through the planning system. We urge the case for proper resourcing
for historic environment services in the forthcoming review of
local authority finance, and secondly for DCMS and English Heritage
to have sufficient resources to work alongside CLG in integrating
heritage protection and its resourcing within the new planning
regime. It is essential that local authorities have the appropriate
resources to inform and operate the planning system for example
through Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS5) to ensure that full
public benefits are unlocked.
10. Central and local government funding
affects non government heritage bodies, some of whomincluding
The Heritage Alliancebenefit from EH's National Capacity
Building programme. National and local groups deliver especially
strongly on the two main strands of the Big Society conceptsocial
action and community empowerment. The grassroots nature of most
heritage organisations means they are an important part of civil
society, well used to making small amounts of government money
galvanise voluntary action and philanthropy to transform their
communities. The heritage sector can point to the Building Preservation
Trust movement over the past 30 years as leading the way in mobilising
the Big Society. For many of these community groups, local authority
supportvaluable in itselfunlocks other sources of
11. Big Society can't just be about cutting
funding and expecting others to deliver projects instead of Government.
Targeted investment in partnerships with non-government bodies
stimulates national and local activity, endorses the shift towards
civic responsibility and is a legitimate subject for public subsidy.
2. What (arts) heritage organisations can
do to work more closely together in order to reduce duplication
of effort and to make economies of scale.
Non government heritage sector
12. Given the diverse interests and huge
voluntary input in the heritage movement, co-ordination is more
appropriate than amalgamation. There are successful mergers, shared
offices and hubs, but the majority of the Alliance's 83 members
and their local organisations are sustained by voluntary effort
where diversity and autonomy is an asset.
13. Most generic groups have a national
umbrella body. There are a number of sub-sectoral forums such
as the Joint Committee of National Amenity Societies, The Archaeology
Forum and Placesofworship@thealliance that work together to reduce
duplication of effort and make economies of scale. The Historic
Environment Forum (previously known as HEREC) the overarching
forum, brings together government and non government interests.
The History Matters Campaign in 2006 demonstrated a novel national
partnership led by English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, The
Heritage Alliance, the National Trust and Historic Houses Association
to celebrate public enthusiasm for our heritage. Due at least
in part to the Alliance's success since 2002 in promoting collaborative
working, heritage organisations inside and outside the public
realm are working together far more closely than ever before.
Public heritage bodies
14. In reconfiguring our public heritage
bodies the aim should always be to optimise outcomes rather than
necessarily preserve the status quo. Better co-ordination between
Government Departments responsible for heritage is something The
Heritage Alliance has been calling for since 2004. The Secretary
of State Jeremy Hunt told us in March 2010 that once in government
he would ensure regular ministerial meetings between DEFRA, DCMS
and CLG. It is vital that such a small Department as DCMS has
the expertise and capacity to integrate heritage interests across
other Government Departments.
15. The "agencies of place"English
Heritage, CABE and Natural Englandmight explore efficiencies
by working more closely together. An amalgamation of English Heritage
and the Heritage Lottery Fund seems somewhat mismatched on grounds
of geography and their different remits (historic environment/heritage
including biodiversity) but the two most critical issues are:
the historic fabric, support to infrastructure, property manager
(EH) compared with fixed-term project funding (HLF); and
public money is not the same as government
Whatever firewalls might be invoked, the real
danger is of eroding the independence of HLF: indeed, already
prevalent is the idea, put forward by two Government Ministers,
that HLF with its enhanced funding after 2012 can somehow compensate
for the loss of the Government's Listed Places of Worship Grant
Scheme. Any such convergence between lottery funds and the Government's
regulatory functions and grants should be avoided. Any review
of relevant public bodies should always include proper consultation
with the sector and an assessment of the impact of previous organisational
3. What level of public subsidy for the arts
and heritage is necessary and sustainable
16. Public subsidy, direct and indirect,
comes via many channels. There is no global figure for public
and private investment in our heritage so what we are examining
here is more a new balance between state, market and civil society.
A "funding follows function" approach is more likely
to result in a sustainable solution than salami slicing all budgets.
4. Whether the current system, and structure,
of funding distribution is the right one
17. We welcome the intention to restore
the original shares in the National Lottery, but the Heritage
Lottery Fund alone cannot solve the national deficit. Similarly
philanthropy is not a magic bullet, nor can civil society take
on government functions without additional resources. A mixed
economy is the most sustainable model, where Government accepts
responsibility through funding as well as legislation and policy.
18. Public subsidy comes under two broad
Regulatory powers: operating the
heritage protection system with related advice;
Providing and encouraging the necessary
evidence base; and
Specialist capability to work with
other government departments/agencies and partners on legislation,
policy and funding.
Enabling funding that supports othersprivate
investors, owners, philanthropists, the non government heritage
movementto achieve public policy outcomes including Big
Society as well as cultural and economic objectives:
Providing incentives for action:
grants and fiscal incentives; and
Support for implementation.
The Alliance recommends a shift from direct
funding, with Government retaining unique, statutory responsibilities
but avoiding duplicating front line services, towards a more enabling
framework, including tax incentives as well as subsidy, so that
more is delivered by a mixed economy in the longer term.
19. EH is already in discussion with heritage
groups over transferring certain functions. Our difficulty is
that although we can perhaps deliver services more cheaply than
our government colleagues, we can not take on additional roles
without financial support which means the efficiency savings are
relatively small. Secondly there are certain functionssuch
as policy guidance, research and evaluationthat require
formal government status and are simply inappropriate for a non
5. What impact recent changes to the distribution
of National Lottery funds will have on arts and heritage organisations
20. The current proposal to restore the
lottery to the original good causes by 2012 could give HLF an
extra £50 million a year. This welcome uplift will conserve
and enhance more of our heritage for social and economic benefit.
It will increase public access and understanding and help sustain
traditional and specialist conservation skills. It will generate
social capital by supporting the professional development of the
not-for-profit sector; increasing the level of self-help by enabling
more voluntary sector organisations to rescue historic buildings
and to find viable, new, community, uses for them; develop community
engagement skills with emphasis on underrepresented groups and
areas; and increase volunteering opportunities and support to
community organisers. It is also likely to bring not-for-profit
heritage organisations into innovative partnerships with private
and public bodies.
21. We are, however, concerned that the
related proposal to cap the Lottery distributors' administrative
costs at 5% could lead to fewer larger grants rather than the
smaller grants, which are proportionately more costly to administer
but which "grow" the voluntary and community sector.
We also value the HLF professional research function which enables
it to review the social and economic impacts of projects undertaken
by a diverse range of recipients. One such figure is the £20.6
billion that heritage-led tourism generates. Other figures relate
specifically to the voluntary and community sector: again HLF
uniquely has the data and professional expertise to extract the
community benefits of heritage investment.
6. Whether the policy guidelines for National
Lottery funding need to be reviewed
22. Increased lottery funding, however timely,
is not a universal panacea. Lottery money should not be allowed
to become a substitute for funding that would normally fall to
mainstream Government spending and we would welcome Government
commitment on this. To have a clear idea of the make-up of all
Lottery Distributors' grant-giving and the proportion going to
the voluntary and community sector, it would be helpful to see
this figure published annually.
23. Much of our heritage is in private hands.
Sustaining the quality of placethe villages and streetscapes,
the gardens and historic landscapes on public viewis at
the discretion of many private owners, who derive no direct financial
return. We accept that the HLF does not usually grant aid private
owners but it may be timely, subject to national consultation,
to review the eligibility criteria.
7. The impact of recent changes to DCMS arm's-length
bodiesin particular the abolition of the UK Film Council
and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
24. Museums are a key route for the public
to access interpretations of our heritage, and house many important
heritage collections. With the abolition of the MLA there needs
to be an appropriate body tasked with providing strategic leadership
for museums. Its loss creates uncertainty about programmes and
jobs funded through the Renaissance programme. We would like to
see an urgent clarification of the future of the Portable Antiquities
8. Whether businesses and philanthropists
can play a long-term role in funding (arts) heritage at a national
and local level
25. We believe that businesses and philanthropists
can play a long term role in funding heritage but the different
drivers for philanthropy for heritage and arts should be considered
when devising incentives. The long gestation of capital projects,
and the nature of maintenance and access work compared with say
productions and exhibitions, may not be as attractive to some
philanthropists who want to see a more instant return. "Red
carpet" opening nights, concentrated in London, make attractive
media coverage for arts sponsors. Projects may be more attractive
to private funders than say capacity building, even though this
can then unlock much more "in kind" support through
the voluntary sector. In terms of promoting Big Society therefore,
Government might explore incentives for this form of philanthropy.
Individuals too spend taxed income on their property, their cottage
or vintage motorbikenot always but oftenregardless
of commercial return. That sense of stewardshipfor public
benefitis a form of philanthropy that falls outside the
usual interpretation. Accordingly, different motives need better
26. There is of course a significant financial
contribution made by the development sector through PPS5 which
enables an increased understanding of the historic environment
and provides increasing opportunities for public engagement. In
considering further reform of the planning system it will be important
that the principles espoused in the PPS are supported to ensure
that this investment continues.
9. Whether there need to be more Government
incentives to encourage private donations
27. We support Gift Aid on donations and
have taken part in several initiatives to help improve take-up.
We support an extension of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme to include
some form of lifetime giving for example to keep important artefacts
in situ. Ways of making Heritage Maintenance Funds more attractive
in order to support the conservation of historic houses open to
the public are put forward by the Historic Houses Association.
Adjustments to these schemes could safeguard some outstanding
historic properties and their contents.
28. It may be that legacies are a significant
form of donation in the heritage world. A form of lifetime giving
could give the donor the benefit of an income during their life
time (as well as appropriate recognition) and furthermore give
the recipient charity an indication of future donations. This
might have widespread appeal, and we recommend that this be considered
in a review of Inheritance Tax.
10. The Committee will also examine other
areas of interest that are raised during the course of its inquiry
29. VAT at 20% from 2011 will add a fifth
to the cost of repairs and maintenance, adding to pressure on
public and private funds yet the possibility that the UK might
take up the EU option of reducing VAT to 5% on repair and renovation
to private dwellings seems remote in the present political climate.
The Alliance has constantly campaigned for a reduction in VAT
arguing that the dynamic effect of a reduction would more than
compensate in terms of jobs created and welfare benefits saved.
30. The Alliance and its places of worship
grouping have campaigned with others to raise awareness of the
value of the Listed Places of Worship Grant scheme which is due
to end in March 2011. The loss of this scheme would be a serious
blow to those struggling to keep these landmark buildings in community
use, not only in financial terms but also in recognition of heroic
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