The government has formalised plans for the expansion of the official Blue Plaque scheme from London to England.
This new scheme will be enabled by an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which is due to be debated in the House of Lords today.
Currently the official blue plaques scheme is London-only. While there are a number of local schemes operating across the country, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), said the expansion will see “one cohesive, official blue plaques scheme operate England-wide.”
In April, Minister for Arts and Heritage Lord Parkinson said he was ‘keen to explore’ adding Blue Plaques to places outside of the capital. The Blue Plaque scheme is run by English Heritage, which told Advisor that the idea was being explored.
The plan sees DCMS, Historic England and English Heritage work together to develop the England-wide scheme. English Heritage has run the scheme since 1986.
A proposed amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill due to be debated today will seek to expand the discretionary power of Historic England to run the scheme across England while English Heritage will continue to deliver the London Scheme under the current licence.
In 1998 English Heritage initiated a trial national scheme which saw 34 plaques installed in Birmingham, Merseyside, Southampton and Portsmouth. The scheme was discontinued in 2005.