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.