THA Heritage Manifesto Refreshed for 2024

The Heritage Alliance (THA) has re-launched its Heritage Manifesto for 2024, with the latest facts and figures about the value of heritage for this election year.

… urges all major political parties to adopt a five-point plan to not only protect it, but to maximise the benefits…

THA writes:

With a fresh look, some brand new asks and now featuring the most up-to-date data from Heritage Counts, the manifesto reflects our priorities for the protection and empowerment of heritage in 2024.

The Heritage Manifesto has been collaboratively created over the past year to draw attention to the key policy measures needed to ensure the future of our shared heritage. It urges all major political parties to adopt a five-point plan to not only protect it, but to maximise the benefits it can create for communities and the environment. It represents the views of our 200-strong membership, covering the breadth of the sector from from museums to railways, gardens to shipwrecks, canals to theatres, and from archaeological sites to places of worship and so much more.

Attendees at Heritage Day last week got a preview in their goody bags, including Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson, the Chair of Historic England Lord Mendoza, and our ‘Heritage Hustings’ panel of representatives from all parties. Sector leaders and parliamentarians of all stripes expanded on our vision throughout the day, with our CEO Lizzie Glithero-West presenting an overview of our five key priorities:

  • Support community cohesion and put heritage at the heart of regeneration by: Investing in and empowering councils and communities so they can protect and make the most of heritage locally. This should include support for targeted regeneration schemes, removing permitted development on demolition, incentivising reuse, and embedding culture-led regeneration and community ownership in future housing and community strategies.
  • Embed the historic environment in nature recovery and net zero strategies by: Ensuring Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMS) provide robust long-term funding to land managers of at least £4.4bn a year (delivering heritage outcomes on an equal footing), reforming EPCs, and bringing forward skills training, funding, standards, and advice in a National Retrofit Strategy.
  • Reform the tax regime to promote long-term sustainable growth by:

Equalising VAT on repair and maintenance with newbuild, simplifying and reducing the burden of business rates, and continuing support for the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.

  • Harness cultural learning and skills at every age and help the workforce thrive by: Encouraging youth visits to heritage sites in the curriculum through subsidised entries, implementing cross-subsidised shared apprenticeship schemes, reforming the Apprenticeship Levy, and offering unsponsored conservation skill-oriented visas for heritage.
  • Futureproof heritage institutions at both a national and a local level by: Ensuring the adequate funding and continued stability of arms-length bodies, delivering a new Culture Growth Fund, protecting the 20% share of Lottery funding for the National Lottery Heritage Fund, supporting local authority arts and conservation teams with ringfenced investment, and safeguarding the uncertain futures of mobile and archaeological collections.

View the THA Manifesto 2024

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