The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government campaign will call on every local authority in England to compile lists of buildings considered to possess significant historical and cultural value to an area. These will then be used to ensure no important local monuments are left in disrepair.
Local people will be central to the process, nominating heritage assets which are deemed to reflect the values and identity of a place. A team of heritage experts will also receive £700,000 to help ten English counties identify areas in need of protection. Further, local heritage champions will be appointed to lead the grassroots work and encourage councils to increase local listings.
To complement the scheme, Historic England will launch a national campaign on local identity, designed to stimulate conversation around what defines our heritage.
Kicking off the project, the communities secretary will contact every parish council in England to find out whether they are conserving the culturally integral buildings in their vicinity and if they need support.
Announcing the scheme he labelled as “the most ambitious heritage preservation campaign for decades,” communities secretary Robert Jenrick said the plan was to “put power directly into people’s hands” and “encourage local communities and heritage groups to get far more involved in identifying the historic buildings in their area.”
Jenrick’s culture counterpart Nicky Morgan added: “Our built heritage is one of the things that make England one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It helps us attract millions of visitors every year who are keen to see the historic buildings at the heart of our communities, helping to boost our economy and make our towns and cities better places to live, work and visit.”