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Heritage Update
Issue 430 - Thursday 29 October 2020     

Culture Recovery Fund

DCMS has now announced the organisations that have been awarded grants through the third tranche of the Culture Recovery Fund. A share of £75 million has been awarded to arts venues and cultural organisations across the country.

The list of recipients includes Shakespeare Birthplace Trust [Alliance Member], who have been awarded a grant of £3 million.

This follows announcements from last fortnight that £103m has been awarded to 445 heritage organisations across England and £257m has been awarded to 1,385 theatres, arts venues, museums, and cultural organisations through Arts Council England. 

The Heritage Alliance has extended congratulations to our members who have been successful in receiving funding through the Culture Recovery Fund.

Updates on Our Policy Work

Backing the Bedrock

Recently, we submitted our representation to HMT’s Comprehensive Spending Review, informed by evidence from our Funding and Investment Advocacy Group (FIAG). We also published this year's version of Backing the Bedrock, detailing our five heritage fiscal & funding priorities for 2020.

This week, we've been unpacking these priorities across social media. You can join the discussion using the hashtag: #BackingTheBedrock.

Heritage, Brexit and Immigration

The Heritage Alliance is currently drafting a briefing on the new Immigration System, which will be available to read shortly. You can see our previous Brexit briefings here. We will soon publicise more information and further opportunities for you to have your say on the forthcoming challenge of exiting the Transition Period.


This fortnight, we responded to two consultations on the Planning White Paper 'Planning for the Future' as well as the consultation on the Fundamental Review of Business Rates.

To contribute to our responses on future consultations, or to feed into our work on issues such as planning, business rates, Brexit, immigration, funding and investment, contact Delphine about becoming a member and joining The Heritage Alliance's advocacy groups.

The Heritage Alliance Upcoming Events

Heritage Debate 2020 - Booking Open

Our annual Heritage Debate is happening on 23 November 4-6 pm, posing the question: “Young People and Heritage: Creating Lifelong Supporters?” and this year will be the first ever digital debate!

At a time when 16-24 year-olds are the least likely to visit a heritage venue, it is timely to ensure the heritage sector is reflecting on its practice and engaging young people as both audiences and collaborators. The last few months have been a demonstration of incredible resilience within the heritage sector, though as we adapt to our changing society, we must ensure we engage the next generation to be advocates for our continued growth.

Panellists will be announced shortly. Click here to book a (free!) ticket for the event.

Ways Out of Crisis webinar series

The first series of webinars from the Rebuilding Heritage programme are now open for booking. The webinars respond to the theme ‘Ways Out of Crisis’ and will provide advice and tips for organisations on the most effective ways to approach leadership, business planning, and communications and marketing in challenging and uncertain times.

These are:

  • Crisis Communications - 11 November, 10.30am–12pm. Media Trust presents a webinar by leading crisis communications experts discussing how heritage organisations can prepare and respond to communications challenges.
  • Governance During Challenging Times - 20 November, 11am-12.15pm. Clore Leadership present a discussion with Hilary Carty, Keith Arrowsmith, and Reyahn King exploring how Boards can govern their organisations effectively during uncertain times.
  • Maximising your Fundraising - 26 November, 11am- 12.30pm. The Chartered Institute of Fundraising presents a webinar with leading expert Gill Jolly to help you maximize your fundraising income.
  • Business Planning in Uncertain Times - 10 December, 2pm-3.15pm. Creative United present a webinar with business consultant Louise Emerson who will untangle some of the business planning challenges currently faced by heritage organisations.

The team are also delighted to have been able to offer 34 organisations and individuals dedicated support in November and December through the first round of 121 and group support. Future rounds of support will be available in 2021 and details will be posted on the website in due course.

Heritage Digital

Read on to find out what’s coming up on our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Heritage Digital project. 

• Data Privacy & Online Security Masterclass: 10 & 16 November
Heritage Digital has opened applications for its first workshop with Naomi Korn Associates on Online Privacy and Security. The deadline to apply is Monday 2 November, 3pm.

• New guide on copyright & working with suppliers
You can download it here.

• #HeritageDigitalNow recordings
Sign up to the project mailing list to receive a link to the recordings from our #HeritageDigitalNow virtual event earlier this month, released later this week.

• Get involved – share your case study
We are always looking for case studies of good digital skills use, particularly relating to social media, digital technology, digital rights or marketing. Get in touch if you’d like to write a short case study for our Heritage Digital portal by emailing Carmen at


October’s Heritage Chat was devoted to ‘Diversity and Inclusion in the Heritage Sector’, as these are cross-cutting principles of the Historic Environment Forum. Daniella Briscoe-Peaple and Iona Popat, part of the Heritage Alliance team, led the chat, helping inform the next Heritage Alliance project on the topic. Participants shared thoughts on the challenges faced by the heritage sector to foster inclusive practices, as well as the solutions adopted by organisations, best practices and free resources available online. You can read the full summary of the chat here.

The next Heritage Chat will take place on Tuesday 17th November (1-2pm) and will focus on the ‘Overlap between historic and natural environment’. Please add your questions here, and follow @HeritageChat to take part!

If you want to suggest a topic and/or to run one of the next chats, please get in touch with Francesca Benetti at

Welcome to the Alliance!

We are delighted to announce that Placecloud and The Society of Independent Roundabout Proprietors have joined as members of the Heritage Alliance!

Placecloud allows historians, heritage professionals and other cultural experts to tell stories about places, in order to grow and diversify their audiences, and earn income. Historians can create maps of building-specific audio recordings ('viewpoints') and run live, remote 'street view tours'.

Placecloud is in the stages of planning the next version of its platform, which will offer 24/7 remote live cultural tourism. They are inviting interested historians and researchers to join their waiting list to be the first users in early 2021 - please email for more information.

The Society of Independent Roundabout Proprietors is a small group of showmen dedicated to the history of the traditional British fairground. Membership includes those who repair rides, decorate them in the traditional style and historians including published authors on the subject. Its primary aim is the rescue, restoration, including current health and safety standards, and most importantly the operation of historic rides and stalls and its associated transport.

Be Heard - Join The Heritage Alliance

We understand the challenging times heritage organisations are facing at the moment. 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: 'Layers of History' - Heritage Lincolnshire

This week’s header image shows a participant in the 'Layers of History' project, run by Heritage Lincolnshire [Alliance Member]. This project tapped into the role of heritage in understanding our place in the world by offering over 200 volunteers the opportunity to discover, understand and investigate the less obvious historical features of Lincolnshire’s Bardney Limewoods.

'Layers of History' is one of the many case studies from our new report on Heritage, Health and Wellbeing.

Image: Heritage Lincolnshire. Credit: Adam Winfield.

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Government COVID-19 News

New Restrictions

A full list of areas in Tier 2 or 3 (high or very high alert) can be found here.

Date of the Spending Review Announced - 25 November

The Government has abandoned its long-term Comprehensive Spending Review amid economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the Chancellor and the Prime Minister have decided to conduct a one-year Spending Review, which will be announced on 25 November, setting department’s resource and capital budgets for 2021-22, and Devolved Administration’s block grants for the same period. 

Increase to Financial Support for Businesses and Workers

Last week, the Government announced that it will increase the reach of its winter support schemes as part of its 'Plan for Jobs' in light of the ongoing pandemic. Changes have been made to:

  • The Job Support Scheme (JSS): the employer contribution to employees' unworked hours will drop from 33% to 5% and the Government will cover 62% - meaning employees will still have 67% of their unworked hours covered. Those working just one day a week will now also be eligible. (A different arrangement is in place for Tier 3 areas where some businesses have been legally required to close).
  • Self-employed grant: the maximum grant available for self-employed workers (from two strands of funding across November to January and February to April) will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.
  • Business Grants: cash grants of up to £2,100 per month will be available primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector - especially those adversely impacted by restrictions in high-alert level areas.

The full details are available here.

This follows the Chancellor's announcement last fortnight that the Government's Job Support Scheme has been expanded to support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions. 

Find Coronavirus Financial Support for Your Business

The Government has updated its online tool to help employers and the self-employed find out what financial support is available to them and how to access it in light of all the recent changes. This tool can be used by businesses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and provides information on eligibility for loans, tax relief and cash grants.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Checker

The Government has also launched a new online system that allows applicants to the SEISS to check the details and processing of their application.

First Town Deals Announced

The Government has announced that Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Darlington, Peterborough, Norwich, Torquay and Warrington are the first 7 of 101 areas across England that are set to benefit from up to £178.7 million in new Town Deals. The funding is intended to sustain jobs, improve connectivity, and boost economic growth for local communities.

£1 billion for Individual Councils

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has also confirmed an earlier statement from the Prime Minister that £1 billion funding will be allocated to support local councils. Over £900 million will go to councils for their ongoing work to support communities during the pandemic and £100 million will be used to introduce a new fund to support the most in need council leisure centres.

COVID-19 - Impacts on the Economy and Society

ONS Data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period from 14 to 18 October 2020. 

The ONS has also published the results from its latest two-week survey into the impacts of Covid-19 on the UK economy. The Wave 15 report shows that the arts, entertainment and recreation industry again had the lowest percentage of businesses currently trading (70% compared with 86% across industries on the whole).

A useful compendium of the research that the ONS has undertaken on the impacts of Coronavirus is now also available here.

VisitBritain Coronavirus sentiment tracker

VisitBritain [Alliance member] has now published tracking data for Week 17 of its research into consumer sentiments related to the coronavirus pandemic. The findings from this period (12 to 16 October) on national mood chime with ONS findings, indicating that overall mood remains consistently at the lowest average recorded since the survey began in May.

DCMS Sponsored Museums data

The latest report on DCMS Sponsored Museums Daily Visitor Figures shows that, for the period of 12-19 October, visits were at 17.4% of the daily average recorded for the same period over the past three years. For the period 5-11 October 2020, visits were at 17.1% of the previous average.

Other Government News


The Government has launched a new campaign to warn businesses that “Time is Running Out” for businesses to prepare for the UK to leave the EU. The Government is urging business leaders to step up preparations for an “Australia-style” exit based on simple principles of global free trade. This was followed up by Michael Gove reading a statement to the House informing MPs that the UK will have to prepare to trade with the EU on WTO terms from January.

Environment Plan Progress

The Natural Capital Committee has published advice and recommendations on what the government should consider in developing their 25 Year Environment Plan.

Updated Guidance from DCMS

On 16 October, DCMS published additional guidance and information for DCMS policy areas. This includes:

Preparing VAT Registered Companies for New Trade Arrangements

HMRC has recently written to all VAT registered companies with instructions on how to prepare for new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and the EU that will be in place from 1 January 2021. This included:

  • Ensuring companies have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • Informing companies on how to make customs declarations
  • Reminding companies to check if their imported goods are eligible for staged import controls

These actions will not change regardless of the outcome of the Government’s negotiations with the EU.

Global Tariff Checker

You can access an online UK Global Tariff tool to check what tariffs will apply to goods you import after the transition period by commodity code (if known) or by keyword. You can also check the difference between what you pay now and what you’ll pay from 1 January 2021.

Trader Support Service

A free-to-use Trader Support Service will support businesses with the changes to Northern Ireland trade through guidance and training on the new border arrangements. Sign up for updates here.

Parliamentary News

APPG for Creative Diversity - Latest Insights

The latest insights from the latest meeting of the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) for Creative Diversity have been published. The discussion covered themes including: "the importance of equality and diversity as a category; the importance of data and monitoring; the need for cultural change, both within organisations and across the sector; and the problem of definitions and boundaries."

Heritage and Society 2020

Historic England (on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum) has published data on the role that heritage plays in society as part of Heritage Counts 2020. Heritage and Society 2020 presents evidence about the value of heritage to society, individuals, and communities across England.

Freelancers Feel Unsupported Within the Sector

A new report from Museum Freelance has found that freelancers in the sector feel largely ‘undervalued’ and ‘underpaid’. The organisation conducted a survey in March and April, which found that only 47% of self-employed museum workers feel they are valued and recognised for their work. 16% of respondents said they had started freelancing because they had been made redundant, a figure that is likely to have increased since the survey was conducted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New £1m Fund for Freelance Artists

The Genesis Foundation has announced a new £1m 'Kickstart Fund' to support freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors. The fund will generate structured, project-based work opportunities for a diversity of freelance creative professionals, the first of which are expected to go live in mid-2021. This fund follows the Foundation's Genesis Covid-19 Artists Fund, launched in July.

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The Value of Churches and 'National Help Services'

The National Churches Trust [Alliance member] has published The House of Good: an important report on the value of churches. This new study has found that the economic contribution to the UK from social and community services provided by church buildings is £12.4 billion a year. A figure in the report calculates that for every £1 invested in Churches, £3.74 is generated.

On the day of the report's release, 8 UK church heritage trusts also sent out a joint call for urgent help from local and central government to keep churches and chapels open and in good repair.

Latest Insights from Ecclesiastical

Adapting to digital heritage

New research commissioned by the specialist insurer Ecclesiastical [Alliance sponsor] has found that digital attractions are essential for the future of Britain’s museums, theatres and art galleries. The research has revealed that 83% of decision makers working across the heritage sector in the UK fear for the future of the sector after the pandemic if it doesn't adapt and use digital attractions.

Ecclesiastical Heritage Barometer 2020

Ecclesiastical has also just launched the Ecclesiastical Heritage Barometer 2020 to help heritage organisations consider the risks and opportunities of embracing technology. This tool was informed by independent research and specialist knowledge from the insurer and heritage sector experts, including members of The Heritage Alliance team.

Connecting for Change

Ecclesiastical's latest Impact Report explores inspirational stories from some of the charities throughout the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia that received a share of £32.5m awarded by the insurer in 2019.

Over £1m Now Raised to #SaveOurTheatres

The new national campaign from the Theatres Trust [Alliance member] and Crowdfunder #SaveOurTheatres has now raised over £1 million in donations. The campaign is aimed at saving hundreds of UK theatres at imminent risk of permanent closure.

Shout Out Loud Grants Awarded to Youth Organisations 

Shout Out Loud, the youth engagement programme from English Heritage [Alliance member], has now announced the recipients of 'Reverberate' grants that will enable young people to produce creative responses to hidden histories in their area. 14 grassroots youth organisations from Lancashire, Hampshire, Birmingham, Tower Hamlets, North Yorkshire, Cornwall, Bedfordshire, the West Midlands, Brighton & Hove, Oxfordshire, Nottingham and Sunderland will be supported with grants of up to £2,000 to facilitate these heritage exploration projects.

Have a Sustainable Halloween

The National Trust [Alliance member] is offering advice for sustainable Halloween celebrations in 2020 and beyond. The Trust is encouraging people in this 'tricky' year to ‘treat’ themselves, their neighbours and local wildlife. Suggestions include carving pumpkins as part of creative neighbourhood displays, cutting food waste and creating autumn-inspired decorations indoors. Its research indicates that celebration of the seasons is good for people's wellbeing.

Wessex Archaeology Awarded Contract for Fieldwork Ahead of A303 Upgrade

Highways England has announced that a £35 million contract has been awarded to Wessex Archaeology [Alliance member] to carry out archaeological protection and excavation work ahead of the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down upgrade. Fieldwork is not expected to start until late spring 2021, if planning consent is granted for the scheme.

BAFM Statement on Impact of Covid Crisis on Museums

The British Association of Friends of Museums (BAFM) [Alliance member] has released a statement on redundancies and the impact of Covid-19 on the sector. It concludes: "UK museums really merit that over-used term 'world-leading'.  It would be a tragedy if they and their staff were allowed to become part of the collateral damage of the Covid crisis."

Gardens Trust - Unforgettable Gardens

From 2020 to 2022 the Gardens Trust [Alliance member] is celebrating Unforgettable Gardens – a collaborative project focused on sharing the value of historic gardens, the threats they face and how they can be preserved for the future. The Trust is planning a range of new initiatives and is inviting its members to contribute to this work.

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Open Consultations 

Consultations and Surveys which are currently open include:

Call for Evidence on Data on Land Control

MHCLG is calling for evidence on the government’s proposals to improve the transparency of contractual mechanisms, such as land options, use to exercise control over land. The new proposals would require additional data from the beneficiaries of certain types of interests in land – rights of pre-emption, options and estate contracts.

This consultation closes on 6 November 2020.

Reforming Local Government Exit Pay

MHCLG is also seeking views on proposals for reforming exit payment terms for local government workers.

This consultation closes on 9 November 2020.

VAT and the Public Sector: Reform to VAT Refund Rules

HM Treasury is seeking views on a Review of VAT refunds under Section 41 of the UK VAT Act (1994). These VAT rules currently pertain to government departments, devolved administrations, the NHS and Highways England.

Representations are due by 19 November 2020.

HS2 Phase 2b Western Leg Design Refinement Consultation

The Minister of State for Transport is consulting on 4 proposed refinements to the design of the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b.

This consultation closes on 11 December 2020

Review of Post-16 Qualifications at Level 3 (second stage)

The Department for Education is seeking views on proposals to reform post-16 technical and academic qualifications at level 3. This consultation is the second stage of the Government's review and a call for evidence on level 2 and below will follow shortly. 

This consultation closes on 15 January 2021.

HM Treasury - Future Regulatory Framework (FRF) Review

HM Treasury has launched a consultation to explore how the UK regulatory framework for financial services needs to adapt to a new position outside the EU.

This consultation closes on 19 January 2021.

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Upcoming Events in Heritage


SPAB - Autumn Lecture Series: Transformations Part I

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) [Alliance member] is holding its Autumn Lecture Series exploring historic buildings and the idea of transformation. 

The events in this series are as follows:

Check the list above for further upcoming events from the SPAB.

AHI - Virtual Conference 2020

The Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI) [Alliance member] is holding its Virtual Conference 2020 around the theme of 'Reignite', which will explore new opportunities for interpretation following unprecedented times this year.

This series of events (on 11, 12 and 24 November) will focus around three key themes- Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and a new-found engagement with the natural world.

HTVF - Whose Heritage is it anyway?

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) is holding a two-part webinar at Kellogg College, Oxford University [Alliance member] entitled 'Whose Heritage is it anyway? Managing changing historic interpretations'. Taking place across 5 and 12 November 2020, this webinar will be looking at how to respond to the changing emphasis and appropriateness of cultural icons, in the context of Black Lives Matter and other movements and memorials.

Gardens Trust - Historic Landscapes Assembly

The Gardens Trust [Alliance member] is holding its fifth annual, national networking forum, which invites all those with a stake in historic designed landscapes and their conversation to meet and discuss current issues. This year's Historic Landscapes Assembly will be held as a live, online event on 18 November.

Governance Now 2020

Tickets are on sale for Governance Now 2020, the flagship national conference for cultural sector trustees and professionals led by Clore Leadership and the Cultural Governance Alliance. Keynote speakers this year are Nina Simon, Vyla Rollins, Damian Hebron and Sir John Tusa. The programme of events will run every Thursday from 5 - 26 November 2020.

Landmark Trust - Free Archaeological Building Recording Sessions

The Landmark Trust [Alliance member], with TJC Heritage Ltd are running free Archaeological Building Recording sessions using Calverley Old Hall near Leeds as a case study. 

The training will be delivered via pre-recorded videos and a zoom session on the 20th November. It will look at survey techniques and laser scanning and the process of adding archaeological information to create a permanent record and inform onsite interpretation.

For further information, please email
This workshop is recognised by the IHBC as CPD training.

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London Gardens Trust - Trustee (Unpaid)

The London Gardens Trust (LGT) [Alliance member] is looking for a Trustee Treasurer to join its Board. The Trust is seeking someone who is experienced in the oversight and management of accounts, which may be demonstrated by a professional qualification or through experience. Candidates should also have a knowledge and understanding of charity SORP (or a willingness to learn it).

The closing date for applications is 27 November 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in early December. Full details about the role and how to apply can be found 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 20.9k Twitter followers as well as shared on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Advertising vacancies in Update is free to Alliance members and costs a modest £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 5 November 2020. The copy deadline for the next issue is Friday 31 October 2020.

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

Support the Heritage Alliance

A donation to The Heritage Alliance will help us to champion, inspire, catalyse and support the independent heritage sector.

Click here to support The Heritage Alliance today.

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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