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Heritage Update
Issue 433 - Friday 11 December 2020     

In this week's Issue:

  • Our New Brexit Guidance Hub
  • Nominate a Heritage Hero!
  • Help us Celebrate the Breadth of the Heritage Sector this Christmas
  • Missed our Heritage Debate 2020? Catch up here
  • Guest Editors: Holly and Corrina, Alliance micro-interns

Thank You Readers - We'll be Back in 2021!

This is our final issue of Heritage Update until the new year! (But if you miss us over the break, you can catch up on past issues here).

A huge thank you from the editors Daniella and Katie and the whole Heritage Alliance team for reading, sharing and supporting Update this year. We are honoured to have been joined by over 370 new subscribers this year, as well as our many long-time readers.

We hope you all have a wonderful festive break and we'll be back with all the latest heritage news, jobs and events on 14 January.

Heritage Heroes Awards 2020: Nominations are now open!

Do you know someone who went in to check on an empty heritage building in lockdown? Do you know someone who ensured the safety of precious artefacts, or who gathered supporters online with new ideas to keep a project alive?

Volunteers are vital for the protection of England’s heritage. From caring for rural heritage sites to devising new ways of working remotely, volunteers’ skills, passion, and commitment have proved to be more crucial than ever in this challenging year.

For over a decade, Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Heroes Awards have celebrated the incredible contribution of volunteers in the heritage sector. More than a simple thank you, these awards are a great opportunity to demonstrate how communities can take ownership of the historic environment around them and make a real difference.

There are three awards categories this year:

  • Heritage in Lockdown Hero Award
  • Supporting the Sector in Lockdown Award
  • Digital Heritage Hero Award

More details about the award categories and criteria can be found here.

To Apply

Nominations must be made by a member of the Heritage Alliance or any member of a Heritage Alliance Member, except for nominations for Digital Heritage Hero which may be made by any UK heritage organisation.

Please complete the nomination form found on our website and submit EITHER a 2-minute video OR a 300-word nomination with 3 photos to by 11 January 2021.

Winners will be notified by the 15 January 2021 and be asked to make a short video about their achievement that will be presented at the Alliance’s Digital Heritage Day on 11 February 2021.

Help us Celebrate the Breadth of the Heritage Sector this Christmas

To round off this year, we're launching a social media campaign to celebrate the breadth of the heritage sector. Heritage can be hard to define, as it is so wide-ranging and crosses many aspects of our daily lives. Our 150+ members hail from all different parts of the sector and we'd like to celebrate the good work they do.

From this Saturday, The Heritage Alliance will be counting down to the 25th December by sharing a different facet of the heritage sector each day on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Be sure to engage with us using #12DaysOfHeritage.

Guest Editors: Holly Woodhead and Corrina Summers

We are thrilled to be joined by Holly and Corrina as guest editors for this issue of Heritage Update. They are both working with The Heritage Alliance team this week, supporting on Policy and Communications.

Holly is in her final year at Oxford University studying Theology. She is most interested in sites of religious heritage, particularly churches and cathedrals.

Corrina is a student at the University of Oxford going into her second-year of BA History and English. Prior to beginning her undergraduate degree, she completed an apprenticeship in Cultural Heritage, and aspires to go on to graduate study and to continue learning more about the sector. She is particularly interested in curatorial work and widening access to the cultural and creative industries.

Welcome to Our New Corporate Partner: Ecclesiastical Insurance

We are delighted to announce that our long-time sponsor Ecclesiastical Insurance have joined The Heritage Alliance as a corporate partner. Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurance and financial services company with over 130 years of experience offering advice, expertise and protection. Charitably owned (by AllChurches Trust [Alliance Member]), it exists “to contribute to the greater good of society”.

Ecclesiastical does wonderful work for heritage, supporting the sector financially through grant funding (captured in their Impact Report) and their yearly 12 Days of Giving Campaign. They also work to gather important data and share useful insights for the sector. For example this year, their research has included looking into adapting to digital heritage and on young people’s engagement with heritage.

We look forward to working with our colleagues at Ecclesiastical more closely and do check back for future collaborative work in the new year.

50% off Street View Tours for Alliance Members

We're delighted to offer Heritage Alliance members 50% off  Placecloud's commission on ticket sales when you use their service to run street view tours until the end of 2021, for those who sign up by midnight on Christmas Eve 2020. This is their way of offering support to the heritage sector after a horrid year.

What is a Placecloud street view tour? It is an online tour 'inside' Google Street View, with a live video stream, and a chatbox for Q&A and discussion. In other words, it's a live virtual tour platform built specifically for exploring the built environment.

By offering this discount, Placecloud hopes to encourage Heritage Alliance members to make use of their platform as a new way of communicating heritage to their audiences, delighting them and earning revenue in the process.

For more info and how to sign up, click here.

Heritage Debate 2020: Young People and Heritage

The recording for our Heritage Debate 2020 is now live. This year we discussed the topic: 'Young People and Heritage: Creating Lifelong Supporters?' and explored how young people engage with heritage, and how the sector can support and empower these young people to become advocates for heritage into the future.

If you missed it:

  • Catch up on the full recording here
  • Watch the fantastic keynote keynote speech from 4 of English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud Young Producers here
  • And find an insight from our event sponsor and corporate partner Ecclesiastical into their recent youth and heritage research study here

We also encourage anyone interested in the topic and hearing from young people themselves to read the 12 blogs submitted from 16-24 year olds that we've published. We announced this week that Isobel Moody won the random draw for her blog on her experiences of heritage in Milton Keynes. She'll receive an iPad thanks to Ecclesiastical.

Upcoming Heritage Dialogue: 'Heritage in Quarantine'

The next Heritage Dialogue is entitled ‘Heritage in Quarantine: The wellbeing benefits of heritage during Covid-19’ and will explore how the heritage sector was able to deliver wellbeing benefits during the Coronavirus pandemic, despite tight restrictions. The Dialogue aims to showcase good practice as well as provide a forum for discussion between panellists and the audience about the future of heritage and wellbeing.

Speaking at the event will be Jo Sofaer, Professor at the University of Southampton [Alliance member], Katie Buckley from Waterloo Uncovered [Alliance member], and Claire Walker, Chief Executive at the National Churches Trust [Alliance member]. Jo will talk about her new project ‘Places of Joy’, which looks at the contribution of historic places to wellbeing during Covid-19; Katie will discuss how the charity adapted their wellbeing programme when the pandemic hit; and Claire will talk about the NCT’s recent publication ‘The House of Good’, which explores the local support and wellbeing benefit churches provide. The panellists will then discuss questions, such as ‘Has Covid-19 changed the relationship between heritage and wellbeing?’, with significant opportunity for audience participation.

The webinar will take place at 3.30-4.30 on Thursday 17th December. You can book your free ticket here

Talk to the Rebuilding Heritage Team!

Applications for support close 11pm, Wednesday 16 December

All heritage organisations, voluntary groups, businesses, and sole traders can apply for 121 support in business planning, fundraising, and communications and marketing, and for a place on group training in leadership and in managing staff wellbeing.

Full details of the support on offer and the application process are available on the Rebuilding Heritage website at If you are thinking of applying but would like to know more, you can meet the team at our introductory session:

Intro to… Rebuilding Heritage
Tuesday 14 December, 3pm – 3.30pm – info and booking here

This session will include a short presentation and the opportunity to ask questions.

Heritage Digital - looking ahead to 2021

Our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Heritage Digital programme has had a great first 6 months of delivery, with over 900 people attending live virtual events, and over 700 downloads of our guides and resources. Below is a short update on the programme. For regular updates, sign up to the project mailing list by clicking here.

• Next webinars: save the date! The Heritage Digital programme will be kicking off 2021 with two webinars from Naomi Korn Associates covering what you need to know about the data implications of Brexit for heritage. Brexit, Data Protection and Heritage (26th January), and Brexit, Intellectual Property Rights and Heritage (2nd February) will be free and open to all heritage organisations in the UK. Booking will open via the project mailing list – see link above to sign up.

• 2020 webinars: watch online. All of the programme’s webinars and guides are available online here, and come with a Creative Commons licence so that you can reuse them.


#HeritageChat is a one-hour Twitter chat for the historic environment sector which takes place every third Tuesday of the month. The next Heritage Chat will take place on Tuesday 15th December, 1-2pm (UK time) and will focus on ‘Christmas & Heritage’. Here below some ideas on what to share with us:

  • Share with #HeritageChat your local Christmas tradition, which is part of the UK’s intangible heritage.
  • Celebrate this festive period by sharing your Christmassy/wintery heritage-related pictures with #HeritageChat.
  • Are you organising any Christmas-related events/initiatives? Share them with #HeritageChat!
  • New Year’s resolutions of your heritage organisation.

Join us to celebrate the festive season and spread some joy with heritage, follow @HeritageChat to take part!

We’re always looking for new topics to discuss in our Heritage Chats: if you want to suggest a topic or to run one of the next chats, please get in touch with Francesca Benetti (

Welcome to the Alliance!

We are delighted to welcome two new organisations to the Alliance this edition.

Getting On Board

Getting on Board is a charity that works to change the face of trusteeship. They support people to become trustees, particularly people who don’t think trusteeship is open to them, and support and train charities to improve their board recruitment. They have a particular focus on trustee diversity. Only 36% of trustees are women, 3% are under 30, 8% are people of colour and 25% have household incomes under the national median. Getting on Board runs training and peer support programmes to support charities to recruit the trustees they need to thrive. See their free guide to trustee recruitment here.

The Association of Detectorists

The Association of Detectorists has been formed on heritage and conservation principles, with the intention of becoming a research and educational Institute of Detectorists. It is currently conducting a project funded by Historic England to explore if a formal membership organisation could be set up as a new opportunity for the metal-detecting community. The proposed Institute will offer responsible metal-detectorists a new route to learning more about their hobby, the objects they discover, and the archaeological background to their discoveries. It will offer training, information and the chance to join a community of people with similar interests.

Nominate a Heritage Charity to Receive a Festive Financial Boost

Ecclesiastical Insurance's 12 Days of Giving campaign, where it gives a share of £120,000 to 120 charities over the festive season, is still open for nominations.

Ecclesiastical is inviting individuals to nominate a charity to receive a £1000 donation as part of the campaign. 10 winners will be announced each weekday from 7 to 22 December. Nominations can be placed here and are open from 9 November to 21 December.

We ask Heritage Update readers to please consider nominating The Heritage Alliance for one of these awards. We have a large impact as a small charity and want to do all we can to continue to support the heritage sector through this difficult year and into the new year. Thank you!

Be Heard - Join The Heritage Alliance

This year, we have been working hard to support heritage organisations during these challenging times and will continue to advocate on behalf of our diverse membership in 2021. If you are not yet an Alliance member, this might be the right time for you to join, as alongside a range of free support, we would:

  • Represent your asks, needs and concerns with DCMS and at ministerial meetings;
  • Connect you to other organisations across the sector through our advocacy groups and networks;
  • Promote your events/jobs/content through Heritage Update for free- reaching over 14k inboxes in the sector, to give you visibility at this critical time.

To find out more, please contact the Heritage Alliance's Development & Membership Manager, Delphine, at

Header Image: The Friends of Friendless Churches

The festive header image for this issue is of St David's Church in Llangeview, Monmouthshire. It was supplied by The Friends of Friendless Churches [Alliance member], who work to save disused but beautiful old places of worship of architectural and historical interest from demolition and decay.

Image: The Friends of Friendless Churches, (c) John Tallett

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New Funding Announced for the Culture Recovery Fund

The Government has announced a second round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund. £400 million of the £1.57 billion Fund, which was held back in the previous round, will soon be open for applications. £300 million in grants and £100 million in loans will be available to support organisations’ transition back to usual operating mode from April 2021. More information will be released shortly.

In addition, the Government announced the allocation of £165 million in repayable finance offers to 11 nationally and internationally significant organisations that demonstrated opportunities to engage local communities through education and outreach programmes.  The Government also shared that £58.8 million of capital investment had been given to 74 arts organisations whose projects were impacted by the pandemic. Several Alliance members were among the beneficiaries, including Alexandra Palace and Historic Royal Palaces, as well as many members of members.

Read more in the Government's press release.

Government COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Restrictions Over Christmas

The Government has published new guidance for the Christmas period alongside detailed guidance for different tier levels that came into force last week.

If you're still unsure of what the new restrictions are or what they mean for heritage, catch up on our summary here.

Continue to refer to our COVID-19 Guidance Hub over the festive period between issues of Heritage Update for all the latest.

The most recent guidance includes:


The new guidance from Government includes clarifications that:

  • Hotels, hostels, B&Bs and boarding houses are permitted to take bookings for leisure travel in all tiers from 22 December to 28 December. Guests must check out on or before 28 December
  • Santa’s grottos are able to open in all tiers where they are located in venues otherwise permitted to open.
  • Carol singing or carol services can take place if all attendees follow the advice in the suggested principles of safer singing and guidance for the Performing Arts. Door-to-door carol singing can take place in a group(s) of no more than six participants.
  • Retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run-up to Christmas and through January.
  • Certain performing arts professionals, TV production staff and journalists will be exempt from self-isolating on arrival in the UK.
  • Outdoor Events Catering - In Tiers 1 and 2, alcoholic drinks such as mulled wine can be sold at a stall to takeaway (and can be consumed while customers are walking around the outdoor setting) as long as there's no adjacent seating. In Tier 3 areas, outdoor stalls can offer food and drink as a takeaway service but alcohol may only be sold for delivery or click and collect.

Job Retention Scheme - New Tools for Employers

The Government has produced a new, easy to follow seven-step guide for employers on how to claim their employees’ wages during the extended CJRS period. They have also produced a chart with the deadline dates by which employers have to submit claims over the next four months.

Free Upcoming Training

Yesterday, the Government announced the launch of nearly 400 free qualifications for adults without A Levels or equivalent. These will start from April 2021 and include qualifications in agriculture, conservation and engineering.

VAT Payments Deferred

The Government has announced that businesses will be allowed to opt in to a new VAT deferral scheme next year, whereby any deferred VAT can be paid in up to 11 instalments over the course of the year, so that the total deferred VAT is paid by March 2022. The online opt-in process will be available in early 2021.

Third SEISS Now Open for Applications

The third Self Employment Income Support Scheme is now open for applications. You can make a claim for the third grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first or second. You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021.

Early Outbreak Management Cards

The Government has produced a series of action cards that provide instructions for business on what to do in the event of one or more confirmed cases of coronavirus in the organisation. Each of the cards is sector-specific and centres around four key steps: confirm, contacts, check, and call.

  • Small & Large Gatherings Workplace - for arts, heritage and cultural venues, tourist attractions and places of worship
  • Travel - for transport, airports, seaports, harbours and marinas
  • Food & Drink - for restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways and open-air stands/markets

COVID-19 Insight and Impact

ONS Insights

The latest indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period from 25 to 29 November are out, as well as their latest report into the impacts of COVID-19 on the UK economy and society

VisitBritain Sentiment Tracker - Wave 20

The latest data from the VisitBritain Coronavirus sentiment tracker, (covering 23 – 27 November) is available here. The survey shows a slight dip in optimism in the nation's mood compared with the previous week.

Impact of Covid-19 on VCSE organisations

The latest round of the Barometer survey, led by Nottingham Trent University, is now open. The survey examines the impact of Covid-19 on voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. Organisations can take part in the latest round of the survey here. And some recent insights can be found in their November 2020 report here.

COVID-19 Creative Industries Impact Survey

The Creative Industries Federation is seeking evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on cultural organisations.

The purpose of this survey is to inform research, and to strengthen the Federation's case to government as it looks to support the UK's creative industries into the future.


It is still unclear whether a Brexit deal is on the horizon. We have unpacked what impact Brexit may have on the heritage sector in our latest Brexit briefing. Read all our briefings on Brexit, Immigration and Heritage here.

We have also launched a new Brexit Guidance Hub designed to help the heritage sector prepare for the end of the transition period. We are updating this hub regularly.

Visa Applications Open

The Government has opened the visa application process for people wanting to come and work in the UK under the new points-based system, including the Skilled Worker route. Guidance for UK visa sponsorship for employers can be found here and you can access the online application portal for Skilled Workers here.

Export Licensing FAQs

An FAQ on Export Licensing for Cultural Goods following the end of the Transition Period has been published by Arts Council England here.

HMRC Resources

Information resources on exporting and importing goods between the EU and GB have been designed to help stakeholders and intermediaries support their members, clients and customers prepare for the end of the Brexit transition.

Other Government News

Funding for Projects Alleviating Loneliness

Yesterday, DCMS announced that £4 million in small grants will be awarded for projects alleviating loneliness as part of the #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign. This funding will be available to small charities and community groups tackling isolation and loneliness will be open for applications from 5 January 2021.

Planning Reform

Housing Minister, Christopher Pincher, was questioned on the Future of the Planning System by the HCLG Committee on Monday. You can watch a recording on Parliament TV here. The Committee also has published a Twitter thread summarising the responses to their planning survey which can be viewed here.

Two new calls for evidence on Planning Reform have also been published recently - the APPG Conservation, Places and People’s first inquiry on the regeneration of historic places and MHCLG’s open consultation on supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure that seeks views on permitted development rights and speeding up planning permission. Our Spatial Planning Advocacy Group (SPAG) will meet in the new year to contribute and inform the Alliance’s response to these consultations.

Sustainable Farming

The Government has published ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’, the transition plan for agricultural policy in England from 1 January 2021. It also covers what these changes will mean for farmers and land managers. The government has said that these changes will be “designed to ensure that by 2028, farmers in England can sustainably produce healthy food profitably without subsidy, whilst taking steps to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare and reduce carbon emissions”. You can read more here.

Tree Planting and Boosting Community Forests

DEFRA has announced that over 500 hectares will be planted with trees across England's ten Community Forests, through an investment of £12.1m. This is an important part of the Government's target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Government has also put further funding into tree planting across the country, including in towns and cities - and near rivers to help reduce flood risk. This is in line with a commitment to increase planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025.

Changes to the Treasure Act

Upcoming changes to the Treasure Act 1996 will see artefacts defined as treasure ‘if they are of historical or cultural significance’. The current definition is based on the common law of treasure trove, which dates back to the medieval period and is based on the precious-metal content of the artefacts. The new definition will help recognise important findings made by the public and ensure that they are preserved in public collections. More information on revising the Treasure Act 1996 can be found here.

Wedding Consultation

This week, the Alliance has responded to the Law Commission’s wedding consultation, focusing on the questions about location and venues. The core proposal of the Law Commission’s provisional scheme is to regulate the officiant rather than regulating the building in which the wedding is held, meaning that a wedding ceremony could take place anywhere the officiant and couple agreed. This would enable many indoor and outdoor heritage sites to hold weddings.

Parliamentary News

Fisheries Bill Receives Royal Assent

Last week, the Fisheries Bill received Royal Assent after 10 months in Parliament. The Fisheries Act 2020 gives the UK full control of its fishing waters for the first time since 1973. The Alliance is pleased the new Fisheries Act includes and takes into account heritage when referring to the “marine and aquatic environment”. You can read our briefing on the Bill here.

Research Paper on the Impact of COVID on Diversity in the Creative Industries'

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Creative Diversity and the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre have jointly released a paper looking at the impact of the pandemic on diversity in the creative sector.

The research involved bringing together practitioners from the creative industries in the form of a panel event. The paper outlines the key points discussed by the panel and their implications, including:

  • How the economic downturn as a result of COVID-19 might ensure the continuation of unpaid internships, a reluctance to employ new/young talent and lead to redundancies for lower paid work (which often has a more diverse workforce than higher paid roles);
  • How the pandemic has resulted in delays on gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting; and
  • How HMRC have failed to provide for disabled people and freelancers.

You can read the full report and its recommendations here.

VisitBritain & VisitEngland have 2021 Budget Confirmed

The Government has confirmed that VisitBritain & VisitEngland will have a rollover budget for the next year and will receive an additional sum to be put towards agreed priorities.

The budget includes £19.9 million for VisitBritain, £7.1 million for VisitEngland, and an additional £5 million to support tourism’s recovery. You can read about VisitBritain & VisitEngland’s priorities for this budget here.

Historic England Publishes New Inclusion Strategy

Historic England has released its new strategy for Inclusion, Diversity and Equality. This strategy is the product of two years of work, informed by stakeholder workshops and meetings. It sets out how the body will work over the next three years, centred around the vision that 'heritage should be for everyone'. Find out more here.

The Future of the National Heritage List

Historic England has also released a summary of a forthcoming report it commissioned in 2018 on listing, with evidence particularly from amenity societies: 'Saunders Report – Consulting with the Amenity Sector on the National Heritage list for England'. This report comes a decade after the Heritage Protection Reform Bill was published, with Historic England now considering afresh how best to administer the National Heritage List for England.

The summary is available to read here, with a full report expected in the new year.

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The Impact of Tier 3 Restrictions on Theatres

The Theatres Trust [Alliance member] has shared its disappointment over strict Tier 3 restrictions, which cover large parts of England and will mean that many theatres will still not be permitted to open. It has said: "There are many theatres that we know where planning pantos and other shows for December and this news will be devastating for those organisations."

The Trust is holding a series of free events that will look at the different approaches and possible futures for theatres to remain resilient and has shared online resources from its first seminars on Reopening stories, Insurance issues and Managing financial distress on its website here.

AHI 2021 Engaging People Awards

The AHI (Association for Heritage Interpretation) [Alliance member] awards are now open for 2021. They have a new name and some new categories this year, which respond to coronavirus and make the Awards more inclusive and diverse.

The AHI 2021 Engaging People Awards, sponsored by The Creative Core are "celebrating the best heritage, nature, culture and science experiences in Britain and Ireland". Organisations can enter their projects into the category that best suits their project and eligible entrants will be shortlisted in the spring.

You can find out more about the Awards and how to enter at or watch AHI's video here

Applications Open for Nigel Williams Prize for Conservation Work in Glass, Ceramics and Related Materials

Icon [Alliance member] has begun welcoming applications for the Nigel Williams Prize. The prize seeks to recognise an outstanding professional project focusing on the conservation/restoration of ceramic, glass or a directly related material. Submissions are welcome from individuals or teams from the private or public sector, and the winning project will receive £1000. Applications close 2nd February 2021.

Icon celebrates 15th anniversary of first elected Board of Trustees

On 6 December, Icon [Alliance member] also celebrated the 15th anniversary of its first elected Board. In celebration of the pivotal event for conservation, Icon's first Trustees shared their experiences of the time.

"The creation of Icon was the coming of age of conservation in the UK," Velson Horie ACR commented, describing how "Icon gave us renewed transform how the rest of the world viewed conservation, and how conservators thought of themselves."  Former Trustees also shared what they have been up to since, revealing fascinating careers across institutions and private practice including the reroofing of a former Tudor palace and the investigation of an Egyptian mummy.  "One of the most enjoyable aspects of my career has been the opportunity to mentor and support conservation placement students, emerging conservation professionals and volunteers," Amanda Sutherland ACR noted reflecting on her career highlights.

Icon's Trustees use their wide and varied experiences to help set Icon's strategic direction and priorities. You can find out more about Icon's achievements on Icon's Impact pages.

£100,000 Awarded to Waterways in Progress

Since May 2019, The Inland Waterways Association [Alliance Member] has supported four organisations with waterways projects through their Waterways in Progress Grants. Providing up to £100,000 in funding and focusing on regeneration, physical wellbeing, communities, and enhancing heritage and habitats, the grants have enabled these organisations to fund holistic projects that place the UK’s waterways heritage at the centre of community needs.

AoHE Launches Sustainable Skills Network

The Association of Heritage Engineers (AoHE) [Alliance Member] has launched the Sustainable Skills Initiative (SSN). This project has been set up to combine and amplify the efforts of all the amazing hand skills, experience and talents of the UK's heritage businesses and artisans as one movement.

A broad spectrum of SSN 'Ambassadors' will help to push the heritage skills agenda through the network. The network aims to shape policy in 2021, as well as being more reactive to it.

Allchurches Trust Awards Over £1.25 million to COVID Projects

Allchurches Trust [Alliance member] has given over £1.25 million to 149 church and charity projects that give hope to communities facing coronavirus. Funded projects respond to loneliness and isolation, as well as promote community resilience, good mental health and improved use of technology.

SPAB John Betjeman Award 2020 Results

The SPAB [Alliance member] has announced the winner of their John Betjeman Award for 2020. Out of the four shortlisted projects, the judges declared Tenterden Methodist Church in Kent as the overall winner for their repair of the war memorial pipe organ. The winning projects are featured in the SPAB Magazine and on their website.

Applications Open for the Oxford Cultural Leaders Programme 2021 – ‘Leadership in Times of Crisis’

Centring on the theme of ‘Leadership in Times of Crisis’, the 2021 Oxford Cultural Leaders programme promises to help develop leadership and management skills during this challenging time for the cultural sector.

Delivered by the University of Oxford’s [Alliance Member] Saïd Business School and its Gardens, Libraries, and Museums (GLAM), the programme enables participants to gain confidence in their roles, think entrepreneurially, develop robust solutions to present and future challenges, and join a global network of leaders in the sector.

In 2021, applicants will have the choice of the Residential programme which will run from 26 September – 1 October 2021, or the Online programme which will run from the 11 – 19 April 2021. Applications for the Online programme close on Monday 1 February 2021, and applications for the Residential programme will open in April 2021.

Get Expert Digital Mentoring & Digital Marketing Strategy Training

The Media Trust has launched a competition for charities to win free digital marketing strategy training in early 2021. Charities can win a place on an expert-led marketing strategy workshop supported by The Marketing Trust. The full details can be found here.

The Trust is also offering charities 3-6 months of digital mentoring with industry experts to help develop their digital communications and achieve their objectives. More information about how to apply can be found here.

On the ‘Future of Archaeology’

The Society of Antiquaries of London [Alliance Member] this week published their Future of Archaeology Manifesto. In it they propose that pre-development Archaeology can and should deliver more public goods than it currently does, because the system is process-driven and under-resourced. They instead promote a new system of regional hubs, umbrella bodies that would integrate and develop existing services, to create a new culture with research and public benefit delivery at its heart.

Support for Community Businesses in Churches

National charity, Plunkett Foundation, has received £200,000 funding from Allchurches Trust [Alliance member], to enable a specialist support service to provide the bespoke advice and support needed to encourage new community businesses to thrive in places of worship. Read more here.

The Plunkett Foundation also published guidance on setting up a community business in a place of worship.

Stonehenge Illuminated to Honour Eight Heritage Heroes

This week Stonehenge, part of English Heritage [Alliance Member], was illuminated with projections of eight individuals from heritage organisations across the UK. Each person selected has been recognised as going above and beyond to keep heritage projects running during the pandemic, with their work supported by National Lottery funding. Read more about the project and the eight heritage heroes here.

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Open Consultations 

Consultations and Surveys which are currently open include:

RAF Halton

The MOD and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation are consulting on their strategy to invest £4 billion to modernise and improve this RAF base. The base currently hosts two museums and the proposals aim to celebrate and incorporate the site's military heritage.

You can see the consultation here. The deadline to respond is 19th December 2020.

Proposed Changes to SSSI Condition Reporting

Natural England is seeking views on their proposal to changes the measurement used when condition reporting on SSSIs. The new proposal moves away from a unit or area-based assessment towards one which measures the condition of a particular feature across the whole site.

You can view the consultation here. The closing date for responses is 18th January 2021.

Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure

MHCLG is seeking views on a series of proposed technical changes to the planning system. The changes include a new permitted development right for a change of use to residential; expanded permitted development rights and a new streamlined planning application process for hospitals, schools and prisons; and their approach to simplifying existing permitted development rights following changes to the Use Classes Order.

You can see the consultation here. Responses are due by the 28th January 2021.

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Upcoming Events in Heritage


Thames Historic Places Lectures

Nine Historic Places, linked by the Thames, have joined together to celebrate their landscape, history and luminaries. Marble Hill House has joined with Pope's Grotto, Hogarth’s House, Turners House, Chiswick House, Strawberry Hill, Boston Manor, Orleans Gallery, Ham House to present a series of lectures, which will take place on Zoom and will be hosted by broadcaster and literary critic Prof. Judith Hawley.

The lecture series will take place at 7pm each day:

  • 27th January - Within the garden walls at Hogarth’s House
  • 28th January - A painter’s garden: J.M.W. Turner and the grounds of Sandycombe Lodge
  • 29th January - Alexander Pope: the poet and the poetic landscape
  • 3rd February - Chiswick House, William Kent, and the birth of the English Landscape Movement
  • 4th February - Marble Hill: Howard and her garden of grottos and groves
  • 5th February - Strawberry Hill: The open grove in which Walpole explored 'the gaiety in nature'
  • 10th February - Fishponds, great cedars and Jayne Mansfield: renovating the historic landscapes of Boston Manor Park for the 21st century
  • 11th February - Pleasure Garden to Parkland: The Changing Landscape of Orleans
  • 12 February - 7th to 21st century – is Ham House Garden still a garden of contemporary ideas?

You can book your lecture series here.

The Big Christmas Carol Service

The Churches Conservation Trust [Alliance member], in association with the Royal School of Church Music, is excited to present “The Big Christmas Carol Service” with a very special introduction from their President, HRH the Prince of Wales.

Recorded in the beautiful All Saints’ church, Cambridge, music will include well-known and much loved favourites, as well as approachable new carols.

The event will be taking place on Saturday, 12 December at 6.00pm. You can see a trailer and book the event here.

AIM - Hallmarks at Home Lecture Series 2021

AIM [Heritage member] are pleased to announce the first Hallmarks at Home webinars of 2021, covering a range of brand new topics.

The topics are as follows:

  • Tackling inequalities – 11am Tuesday 5 January – this workshop supports AIM’s new Tackling Inequalities Hallmark and looks at how you can take action in your own organisation to become one that is inclusive and challenges prejudice, discrimination and racism.
  • Practical governance for museum trustees - 10am Tuesday 12 January and 10am Tuesday 9 February – looking for support and guidance on governance or practical help to add value to the work of your museum? This session takes a fresh look at governance for new and existing trustees. 
  • Managing people through change – 11am Wednesday 13 January - will explore how people might respond to changes at your museum, what practical steps you can take to support and manage people as changes are implemented and how you can overcome people’s resistance to change.
  • Diversifying your income – 11am Tuesday 19 January – this session will look at your current situation and income streams, explore how to change your mindset; and moves from looking at your assets to looking at your available time and resources.
  • Applying to trusts – 11am Wednesday 20 January – a practical webinar exploring how funding from trusts and foundations can help your organisation survive COVID-19 and thrive in the future.
  • Business planning: Adapting as a result of COVID-19 – 11am Tuesday 26 January - in this session we will consider the practical steps, including how to plan, managing your cash-flow and taking the lessons learned during lockdown to ensure a sustainable future.
  • Introduction to collections care – 11am Wednesday 27 January – this session is an introduction to collections care particularly for volunteer-run museums or those without specialist collections staff. It is designed to inform your approach, will help to further your understanding of appropriate collections care activity and increase your confidence in tackling issues.

You can book these sessions here.

Climate Change and Historic Places

Kellogg College, Oxford University [Alliance member] and the Historic Towns Forum are hosting two webinars exploring how climate change and historic places interact, as well as the new charter Heritage Declares. They will ask if the sector is doing enough to promote the sustainability of reuse, how to adapt environmental improves with preservation of historic features and what actions can be taken to reach Net 0.

The first session will take place 12-2pm, Thursday 14th January 2021 and part two will take place a week later at the same time. Tickets are available here.

Listed Property Show - New Dates

The Listed Property Owners Club [Alliance member] has unfortunately had to cancel their Listed Property Show, which was scheduled to take place in February, due to Coronavirus. The next Listed Property Show will take place on 5th & 6th February 2022.

Association for Heritage Interpretation - Online Course

Heritage Interpretation Online - This online course brings together heritage learning and interpretation professionals to share practice, ideas and approaches, and work through the challenges we mutually face. More information available from the AHI website.

This will take place every Wednesday at 10:00 GMT from 13th January to 17th February 2021.

A Jewish Jesus: Art and Faith in the Shadow of World War II

St John's Waterloo [Alliance Member] is hosting a symposium, exploring Jewish refugee artists who worked for the Church in post-war England. The event will feature academics in this emerging field as well as the direct descendants of artists, including Hans Feibusch, Naomi Blake, John Ivor Allenby and George Mayer-Marton. The conference will also explore the subject of the Church as patron of non-Christian artists.

This event is taking place on 17th March 2021, 9.30-5.30. You can find out more information and book your place here.

SPAB Spring Lecture Series 2021: Transformations Part II

SPAB [Alliance Member] has launched a new series of online talks continuing their theme of transformation. Through a mixture of recent projects and current thinking about heritage, sustainability and conservation, they consider physical change and new uses for old buildings on the one hand and, on the other, the power of conservation projects to transform places and communities. They will also look at how new ways of thinking about heritage can transform the way people engage with old buildings and historic places.

The lecture series is as follows:

  • 4 March - From Granby Four Streets to Spitalfields: community led regeneration - The “Granby Four Streets” project in Liverpool brought architecture and design collective Assemble and Toxteth residents wide recognition for an approach to regeneration that placed a community’s affection for its local heritage,  at its heart. Over the last decade they have worked together to realise a sustainable and incremental vision for the Granby area. Fran Edgerley, a founding partner of Assemble, will discuss Granby Four Streets and other current projects, which demonstrate the potential and success of community led regeneration.
  • 11 MarchTransforming Places: revitalising historic high streets - “Ordinary” town centre heritage often goes unremarked and underappreciated, and can fall into serious decline. Yet these places are a vital part of our built environment and, if well cared for and used, can be assets that contribute to a community’s quality of life and create a strong sense of place in an increasingly homogenised world. The Architectural Heritage Fund's (AHF) [Alliance member] Chief Executive, Matthew Mckeague, will describe the aims and progress of their initiative Transforming Places, which seeks to improve town centre buildings.
  • 18 March Brixton Windmill: from building at risk to revival - Before Brixton was absorbed by the urban expansion of London in the mid nineteenth century it was a wheat growing area, which Ashby’s Mill was built to serve in 1816. When it was placed on the Buildings at Risk register in 2002 the Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG) was formed and has worked tirelessly to secure a viable future for the Grade II* listed mill.  2020 saw completion of a new building by Squire & Partners, providing meeting and workshop space to support flour production, education and visitor activities at the mill. The Chair of FoWG, Jean Kerrigan and architect Tim Gledstone, partner at Squire & Partners will describe the windmill’s rescue and future.

Other SPAB events include:

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Project Co-Ordinator - National Historic Ships UK

National Historic Ships UK [Alliance Member] is seeking a Project Co-Ordinator to join their team from Mid-February-August 2021 to coordinate a National Lottery-funded Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership 2 programme. This role will include trainee communications, administration, and timetabling. The Successful candidate will also act as a point of liaison between five host training sites to support, promote and evaluate the key aspects of the training programme.

You can see more here. Applications close on 4 January 2021.

Capital Project Manager - Heritage Lincolnshire

Heritage Lincolnshire [Alliance Member] is seeking a Capital Project Manager for their project Reimagining Greyfriars: 800 Years of Stories in the Making. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of Heritage Lincolnshire’s next building preservation trust project at Greyfriars in Lincoln. 

City of Lincoln Council (CoLC) have been working with Heritage Lincolnshire (HTL) since 2017 to develop a new use for the currently empty building. The proposed option is to repair and refurbish the building to tell the story of the site alongside developing the building as a flexible space that could be used for temporary events, exhibition, conferencing and possibly offices or catering.

The job will include managing the development of the capital scheme for the project, ensuring it is delivered within the available budget and to the defined timescale. The post holder will be required to work collaboratively with the project board and wider stakeholders to develop the project and deliver all targets to a high standard.

You can find out more here. The deadline for applications is 20 December 2020.

Assistant Heritage and Outreach Officer - Oxford Preservation Trust

The Oxford Preservation Trust [Alliance member] are seeking an Assistant Heritage and Outreach Officer. This exciting and varied post offers an unusually broad range of opportunities to gain heritage and outreach experience. You will work alongside the Director, Debbie Dance, and the OPT team, taking an active role in all areas of their outreach work, including organising Oxford Open Doors, the UK’s most successful Heritage Open Days event. You will play a key role in further developing their education and outreach work ensuring public access and widening participation across their historic properties, green spaces and projects.

Salary: £19,000 - £24,000 per annum depending on experience.

Closing date for applications: 5pm, Friday 15 January 2021

Interview Date: Wednesday 27 January 2021

For more information, including how to apply, please visit their website.

Planning and Conservation Trustee - London Gardens Trust

The London Gardens Trust (LGT) [Alliance Member] is looking for a Planning and Historic Gardens Conservation Trustee to join their Board. The LGT Board want to provide the best possible strategic leadership and support to LGT to really make an impact. They want to make sure the Director, Committees and Groups can rely on the Board to take the organisation forward. The Board particularly want to strengthen possibly the most important thing they undertake: their response to planning and conservation issues – making sure they can drive forward our strategic intention to become the trusted voice of London’s parks and gardens.

LGT would particularly like to hear from those with experience of:

  • Working within, or knowledge of the Planning system (paid or voluntary)
  • Responding to planning applications
  • Landscape / Heritage conservation issues (preferably for landscapes but not essential)
  • Working with ‘Friends’ groups / volunteers (desirable only).

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2021. More details are available here.

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Advertise your news, views, vacancies and courses in Heritage Update

The voice of the independent heritage movement, Heritage Update is a free e-bulletin produced on a fortnightly basis by The Heritage Alliance and distributed directly to subscribers’ inboxes and published online. Click here to subscribe.

Heritage Update now reaches some 14,000 inboxes and is Tweeted to over 21k Twitter followers as well as shared on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Advertising vacancies in Update is free to Alliance members and costs £165 per ad per issue to non-members. We also welcome image-based advertising on our side-bar for academic courses, projects and services of interest to the sector. More information about advertising can be found on our website.

Schedule of forthcoming issues: The next edition of Update will go out on 14 January 2021. The copy deadline for the next issue is Friday 8 January 2021.

If you wish to use or quote from items in Heritage Update, you should always check the accuracy and current position with the source. The Heritage Alliance cannot guarantee the accuracy of (or accept any responsibility for) the contents of Update.

Become A Sponsor for Heritage Update

As we work to improve Heritage Update as an important resource for the sector, we are currently developing sponsorship packages for the new and improved Heritage Update.

Sponsors of Heritage Update receive a package of benefits including having their name and logo displayed on our website, having their logo displayed at the top of each issue of Heritage Update, and receiving recognition for their contribution to the sector in our communications about the newsletter.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Heritage Update, please email

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Thank you.

Heritage Alliance Contacts 

Chief Executive
Lizzie Glithero-West [Mon-Thurs]

Head of Policy & Communications
Hannah Shimko 0207 233 0700

Advocacy & Communications Officer [Mon, Tues & Wed]
Daniella Briscoe-Peaple 0207 233 0800

Advocacy and Communications Officer [Mon, Thurs & Fri]
Katie Ramsey 0207 233 0800

Development & Membership Manager
Delphine Jasmin-Belisle 0207 233 0600

A full list of our staff contact information can be found on our website here.


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