IHBC welcomes BEFS’ new ‘COVID Historic Environment Response Forum’ (CHERF), chaired by Prof Ian Baxter

BEFS logo on websiteThe IHBC has welcomed the new initiative by BEFS to consolidate and lead responses to the pandemic in Scotland’s built heritage sector through its new COVID-19 Historic Environment Response Forum (CHERF), chaired by Prof Ian Baxter, a member of the IHBC’S Education Committee.

Euan Leitch, BEFS CEO, writes:

At the request of the OPIT CEO Group, BEFS Members have agreed the need to collaboratively plan what the strategic response to the medium to long-term issues must be, while making explicit that the heritage sector can be resilient, sustainable, and beneficial participants in Scotland’s national recovery.

BEFS has therefore established the COVID Historic Environment Response Forum (CHERF), chaired by Prof Ian Baxter, and it will be exploring the five strands initially identified in weekly sessions. Dates, times and details of how to contribute will be in the subsequent bulletin and BEFS look forward to your participation.

We have updated our COVID-19 Funding Advice page with recent developments.

BEFS will be providing these short updates weekly when relevant information for the built environment sector becomes available, in addition to the fortnightly bulletin.

BEFS Historic Environment Working Group writes:

BEFS Historic Environment Working Group met last week and agreed there is a need to prepare for the medium and long-term consequences that will likely arise from COVID-19 lockdown. The global economy finds itself in uncharted territory and therefore forecasting the future scenario is nigh on impossible, and you can take you pick from the plethora of opinions currently being floated, hopeful and apocalyptic. The one consistency appears to be the belief that pre-existing trends are likely to be accelerated.

The National Trust for Scotland has confirmed a dramatic loss of income, preparing for significant redundancies and considering the disposal of assets. Historic Environment Scotland anticipated raising almost 60% of its £100m 2020-21 budget through visitor activity, this would now appear to be impossible. The impact on smaller organisations without their scale nor access to government is likely to be similar, if not worse.

The immediate financial impact of lock-down on jobs is being dealt with through provisions made by the UK and Scottish Governments along with other funders. The Scottish Tourism Alliance is making an excellent case for an industry that heritage is depends on. But the changed economic outlook, anticipated change in public behaviour and use of physical space have longer-term implications for the financing, use and maintenance of Scotland’s heritage….

BEFS writes:

… High-level sector-strategies for rebuilding, recovery and resilience.

The intent behind setting up the COVID Historic Environment Resilience Forum (CHERF) is to create a space to plan and coordinate high-level sector-wide strategies and guidance for rebuilding, recovery and strengthening resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHERF will directly address the question:

  • To be resilient, sustainable, and beneficial participants in Scotland’s national recovery – what actions does the heritage sector need to take for the medium – longer term?

In doing so, the forum will investigate what the sector should look like, what skills the sector has or needs to get there, what heritage can offer to aid in Scotland’s recovery and how we get this across. This will be actioned through working groups associated with five key strands….

See the BEFS COVID 19 Update

See more at Read more….

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