Key findings in Heritage Counts 2015 make fascinating reading. Many of the challenges arise from the economic upheaval of the last few years. Undoubtedly heritage properties and conservation areas have a positive economic impact overall. There has been a slow down of the conservation works on many buildings since VAT at 20% on those works was introduced by the Government. What's more, building preservation trusts are concerned that cuts to local authority conservation and heritage officers result in the loss of expertise in local planning authorities. This has the effect of reducing the appetite to engage in the planning process.
The owners of England’s listed residential buildings say they feel privileged to be custodians of our heritage. This is according to the Heritage Counts 2015 report published today by Historic England on behalf of England’s leading heritage organisations, who make up the Historic Environment Forum. Heritage Counts 2015 focusses on the people responsible for looking after the local historic environment, two thirds of which is privately owned. Over 1,000 listed building owners across the country were surveyed for the report. The results reveal that owners are proud to be conserving heritage for the future and enjoy being a part of our collective history.