IHBC to launch Affiliate Fast-Track Pilot for Local Authority conservation staff (with personal guidance too): Open to applicants from 15/07 to 30/08/2024, so pass the word!

The IHBC will soon launch a new Affiliate Fast-Track Pilot – developed from recent pilots – specifically aimed at helping existing Local Authority heritage, planning and conservation staff progress from Supporter to Affiliate membership, and maybe beyond, with applications closing 30 August.

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‘Politics is not an exact science’… so what does the political future hold for heritage? Free CPD open to all IHBC member categories, online on Thursday 11July, from 4.00 pm

With the General Election upon us now we look past it and into the future with Lizzie Glithero-West, Chief Executive of The Heritage Alliance, who will provide insight into the thinking of the new government.

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IHBC’s ‘Professional’ spotlight: ‘Work as a building conservation officer in an English LPA? This HE initiative could be for you… ’

image for illustration

Historic England (HE) will soon launch a new online community of practice aimed at local authority heritage staff, and there is an opportunity in July for any Conservation Officer(s) – or equivalent – working in a local planning authority in England to help shape the development of this new group by contributing to its climate change guidance.

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IHBC to be represented at Housing Cymru conference and exhibition 11 July 2024 – Charities etc. FREE!

IHBC Technical Panel Chair Professor John Edwards will share the stage with Jill Fairweather of Cadw and natural insulation product manufacturers to talk about the need for a more informed approach towards retrofit and insulation of traditional building.

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IHBC Signpost: Government guidance on Registered Building Inspectors (England and Wales)

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Find out the classes of building inspectors, the competencies needed and how to register as a building inspector in England and Wales.

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IHBC’s HESPR pick from £1.5M works this week: Diocese seeks expert guidance on heritage values in planning context, closing 24/07

The IHBC’s heritage business register HESPR – our Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition quality assurance service – emails members regular ‘News and Tender Alerts’, and the IHBC Director’s pick this week is a call from an English Diocese for expert guidance on ‘planning’ values of heritage resources (‘assets’) in a wider NLHF-funded project, closing 24/07.

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IHBC features ‘Heritage from the (council) doorstep’: Landlord and company fined for planning violations

A Bedford landlord has been found guilty of multiple planning enforcement violations reports Bedford Borough Council.

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BSI seeks Committee Chair for B/209 ‘General design and construction standards’

British Standards Institution (BSI) is looking for a new committee chair for B/209 ‘General design and construction standards’.

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HE opens national blue plaque scheme for public now to make a nomination: to 28/07

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Historic England (HE) has announced that the national blue plaque scheme is now open for public nominations, with a 2024 deadline of Sunday 28 July.

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Vic Soc says: Happy Birthday, George Edmund Street! Gala Dinner for members & guests starts fundraising in bicentenary year

Guests and Victorian Society (Vic Soc) staff joined the Revd Lis Goddard and the team of St James the Less to mark G E Street’s bicentenary with a gala fundraising dinner to ‘restore Street’s first commission in London’.

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IHBC features ‘Heritage from the Global doorstep’: Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin theatre reopens after five-year restoration

image for illustration: Hillside Theatre by Marykeiran, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Hillside Theatre by Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin has reopened following an extensive five-year restoration that addressed ‘significant structural and functional challenges’.

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‘Politics is not an exact science’… so what does the political future hold for heritage? Free CPD open to all IHBC member categories, online on Thursday 11July, from 4.00 pm

With the General Election upon us now we look past it and into the future with Lizzie Glithero-West, Chief Executive of The Heritage Alliance, who will provide insight into the thinking of the new government.

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IHBC to be represented at Housing Cymru conference and exhibition 11 July 2024 – Charities etc. FREE!


IHBC Technical Panel Chair Professor John Edwards will share the stage with Jill Fairweather of Cadw and natural insulation product manufacturers to talk about the need for a more informed approach towards retrofit and insulation of traditional building.

Professor Edwards said about the event: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity to address a mainstream audience that is responsible for so many traditional buildings in Wales’.

Housing Industry Leaders writes:

We’re delighted to be hosting our Housing Cymru conference and exhibition on 11 July 2024.  Moving into its second year the event will bring together the Welsh Government, local authorities, housing associations, the wider stakeholder community and the supply chain to discuss their vision for the future and how the sector will support the needs of its citizens.

The day is packed full of main stage presentations and panel discussions, getting to the heart of current priorities, including:

  • Heritage – the move towards the use of timber/wool/crops etc
  • The use of innovative products to meet our net zero targets
  • Healthy Homes
  • A Welsh Government update on key policies
  • Wales’ four economic growth deals, what projects are forthcoming
  • Water in the Home

Fully Funded Tickets

We recognise that budgets are extremely tight across the public sector, in recognition of this Housing Industry Leaders are pleased to announce that all public sector, charities and housing association employees can attend our event free of charge.  This includes all day refreshments, a 4-star buffet lunch and an invitation to our post event drinks reception.

Read more….

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IHBC’s HESPR ‘Special Interest News’: IHBC on special Reading School offer to HESPR members

IHBC’s heritage business register HESPR – our Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition quality assurance scheme for heritage services – emails members weekly ‘News and Tender Alerts’, and this week features the IHBC’s special offer to HESPR members offering all their staff low-cost access to recordings of our Reading School – #IHBCReading2024.

IHBC writes:

HESPR MEMBERS & STAFF: Did you miss the IHBC In-person or Virtual Day School?

Sign up as a ‘delegate’ and get a copy of select recordings for ONLY £30+VAT
(… from early July)

RESERVE YOUR COPY HERE

Download the HESPR flyer

See IHBC’s Conservation Wiki

For a free promotion of your tendering opportunities and work needs to the IHBC’s HESPR members, please send details and links to Joanna at contact@ihbc.org.uk, as soon as possible.

Tenders can also be advertised for a fee with IHBC Jobs etc, including a targeted email to 2500+ recipients as well as full coverage on our NewsBlog alerts and social platforms (membership and followers c.25,000) and websites with c. 250,000 visits a month. Contact Joanna at contact@ihbc.org.uk

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IHBC features ‘Heritage from the (construction) doorstep’: Listing status secures long-term future of Glasgow art deco cinema

image for illustration: emma mykytyn / Old Mecca/Vogue Cinema, Balmore Road, Glasgow

An art deco former cinema that was saved from demolition after a last-minute intervention by Glasgow City Council has now been added to the list of Scotland’s protected buildings, reports Scottish Construction Now.

Scottish Construction Now writes:

…  Demolition work on the ceiling then started before planning officers issued a last-minute building preservation notice (BPN). At the time, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) declined to list the structure on procedural grounds… The decision means Allied Vehicles cannot go now ahead with its demolition plans and HES will have a say in any development plans for the site.

The Mecca Cinema, opened in 1933, is a rare survival of a 1930s cinema which retains its architecturally distinctive character to the main elevation…

The details of the listing by HES state that the front and side sections of the building will now be protected but the interior and roof structure are not of special interest…

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BEFS Director Ailsa Macfarlane stands down in July, with interim Director Hazel Johnson from August

In mid-July, BEFS will bid farewell to Director Ailsa Macfarlane as she takes up a new role as Head of National and International Partnerships for National Museums Scotland.

BEFS writes:

… During her 7 years at BEFS, first in Policy & Strategy and then as Director, Ailsa has made significant contributions to the organisation and the wider built environment sector. The BEFS Board and team express their gratitude and wish Ailsa the very best in her new role.

Hazel Johnson will step into the role of Interim Director from August. For those interested in the position of BEFS Director, the recruitment pack is now available.

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Read the full statement here and access the job details here.

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Planning red tape slashed for farmers

image: Open Government Licence v3.0

GOV.UK writes:

Farmers will be able to convert their unused buildings into new homes and shops thanks to new planning laws coming into effect today. The major changes give farmers across England greater freedoms to diversify and grow their business, without having to spend time and money submitting a planning application. They will be able to convert agricultural buildings and land into new lucrative business opportunities, such as outdoor sports facilities, larger farm shops and farm training centres, as well as housing, thanks to the changes to permitted development rights coming in today. These new powers come in a week after the Farm to Fork Summit, where the Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to backing farmers who keep this country fed. The changes coming into force will give them new freedoms to diversify if they choose to.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Building Safety Lee Rowley said: ‘Farmers are the lifeblood of communities, and these changes give them the freedom to grow their businesses, and plan for their futures. This is all part of our Long-term Plan for Housing to deliver more homes for rural communities and reform the planning system, removing unnecessary barriers to development.’

Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: ‘I am extremely pleased to support our farmers and provide them the freedom to decide the best uses for buildings on their land, without needless bureaucracy holding them back. We are listening to farmers and putting them at the heart of future development of our rural areas. Helping farmers secure their businesses and get on with the important job of producing food is our top priority.’

Permitted development rights provide more freedoms to develop without applying for planning permission. From today, the Government is extending these rights to give farmers greater freedoms to diversify and convert agricultural buildings to commercial uses, as well as up to 10 homes, without needing to submit a planning application. These rules are subject to space and natural light conditions, to ensure homes are suitable. This will help turbocharge rural housing development, with just 5,000 homes delivered on farming land since April 2014*.

The changes will:

  • Double the amount of floorspace that can change from agricultural to ‘flexible commercial use’ from 500 square metres to 1,000 square metres.
  • Increase the size of new buildings or extensions that can be built on farms over 5 hectares from 1,000 square metres to 1,500 square metres.
  • For smaller farms increase the size of such development from 1,000 square metres to 1,250 square metres.
  • Double the number of homes that can be delivered through the conversion of agricultural buildings from five to 10.
  • Protect nationally important archaeological sites (scheduled monuments) by removing the ability for extensions to be built and new buildings erected in the vicinity.

The amendments deliver on one of the pledges made by the Prime Minister at the Farm to Fork Summit in May last year, to cut red tape and streamline the planning system for farmers, as well as support the wider rural economy.

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Cultural Learning Alliance: Annual Report Card 2024 published on 21 May 2024

image: Open Government Licence v3.0

On 21 May 2024 the Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) published its first CLA annual Report Card, written by Baz Ramaiah, CLA Policy Associate and Head of Policy at the Centre for Education and Youth.

… decline of 42% in the number of Arts GCSE entries….21% decrease in Arts entries at A-Level…. undergraduate degree….has decreased by 6% since 2010….

The CLA writes:

The CLA has regularly gathered data on arts GCSE and A-Level take up, and on arts teaching hours, but this is the first time that key arts education data (2010-2023) has been comprehensively gathered together in one place. We are expanding our reporting across five new key indicators to provide a detailed survey of children’s and young people’s access to the Arts through their schooling in England.

We now have a very clear view of what has been happening to Expressive Arts education in state schools over the past 14 years – since the introduction of the EBacc – and it is a stark picture of erosion and inequality. The Report Card makes clear that:

  • There has been an overall decline of 42% in the number of Arts GCSE entries since 2010
  • In 2009/10, 14% of all GCSE entries were in Arts subjects; by 2022/23 the figure had halved (7%)
  • There are schools which no longer offer some Arts subjects at all at GCSE level: 42% of schools no longer enter any pupils for Music GCSE; 41% of schools no longer enter any pupils for Drama GCSE; and 84% enter no pupils for Dance GCSE
  • There has been an overall 21% decrease in Arts entries at A-Level since 2010
  • Falls in A-Level Arts take up are especially steep in Dance (56%), Music (43%) and Design & Technology (42%).
  • Between 2011/12 and 2022/23, the fall in teaching hours for Arts subjects (excluding Dance, for which data was unavailable) was 21%
  • There are 14% fewer Arts teachers than in 2010
  • Between 2010/11 and 2022/23, the vacancy rate for Art & Design teachers has more than tripled; the rate for Music has increased by a multiple of six, and Drama has increased by a multiple of five. Teacher recruitment in Music has fallen by a staggering 56%
  • The number of students studying for an undergraduate degree in Creative Arts and Design subjects has decreased by 6% since 2010

There is no available data on the number of Arts specialists in primary schools, or how many hours are spent on each national curriculum area, so the primary Arts picture remains unclear. We are calling for DfE to collect data on the number of Arts specialists in primary schools, and how many hours are spent on each national curriculum area in primary (it already collects this data for each secondary subject area).

Do share the Report Card with your colleagues. We hope that this concise and annual state-of-the-nation overview will be of use to all those working in education delivery and policy, and in the cultural sector. Our findings will be valuable for those building a case for support for their Arts education work. Importantly they will enable policy-makers in the next government to be clear-sighted in understanding the landscape as they address Arts education policy issues in their first year in office.To address these findings, we are proposing a blueprint to rebuild and sustain a more equitable and inclusive arts-rich education.

Read more….

View the CLA 2024 Annual Report Card

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Scotland’s planning system cannot be fixed by fees alone, warns RTPI Scotland

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland has released its response to the Investing in Planning consultation, noting the consultation’s reliance on planning fees, which the Institute states will not be a silver bullet to fixing the planning system.

RTPI writes:

The Institute’s response, which draws on feedback from RTPI Scotland members, suggests that fee increases alone cannot solve the problems in the planning system, especially if the additional funds are not specifically designated for planning. Research from the RTPI found that planning fees in Scotland only cover 66% of processing costs. The Institute expressed disappointment that the consultation did not cover plan making or enforcement, both of which suffer from underinvestment and offer opportunities for improvement.

Caroline Brown, Director of RTPI Scotland, said, ‘The Scottish Government’s proposals for investing in planning underpin the urgency of addressing Scotland’s chronic underfunding of its planning services. If we are to build the towns, houses, and infrastructure Scotland’s communities need, we will need to work quickly to address this issue. However, these proposals rely too heavily on meeting these needs with fees alone, avoiding suggesting of ring-fencing fees or proposing to ensure that any additional fee income is invested or reinvested in planning services. Some members noted that, historically, fee increases have failed to bring about meaningful change, and increasing fees without ringfencing may lead to the same result.’

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IHBC’s 2024 Yearbook now out, Part 1: Officers’ updates, with IHBC & members lauded in EH Chair’s foreword – as ‘long been at the vanguard of conservation’

The IHBC’s 2024 Yearbook has been issued in partnership with Cathedral Communications, as the essential sector guide, reference and update for 2024, with a foreword by Gerard Lemos CMG CBE, Chair of English Heritage and opening speaker at our Reading School – #IHBCReading2024 – who applauds the IHBC’s members and our work ‘at the vanguard of conservation’, all complemented by regular updates from IHBC’s officers and much more.

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IHBC to be represented at Housing Cymru conference and exhibition 11 July 2024 – Charities etc. FREE!

IHBC Technical Panel Chair Professor John Edwards will share the stage with Jill Fairweather of Cadw and natural insulation product manufacturers to talk about the need for a more informed approach towards retrofit and insulation of traditional building.

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IHBC ‘Professional’ Signpost from Designing Buildings: Construction industry ‘ramps up for the general election’

10 Downing St UK GovOn May 22, 2024, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced he was calling for a general election so Designing Buildings is offering a brief look at some of the reactions.

image: Open Government Licence v3.0

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IHBC’s HESPR pick from £1.7Mn works this week: Council & Crown seek urban designers’ proposals for ‘transformational’ work, to 07/08 and valued £1.6Mn

The IHBC’s heritage business register HESPR – our Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition quality assurance service – emails members regular ‘News and Tender Alerts’, and the IHBC Director’s pick this week is a call from a council and the Crown estate for proposals linked an urban landscape experience, to 07/08 and valued £1.6M.

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IHBC features ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Milford-on-Sea’s beach huts to be finally removed by council

Beach huts at Milford-on-Sea wrecked by stormy weather will be removed, New Forest District Council (NFDC) has said, reports The Daily Echo.

image for illustration

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IHBC features ‘Heritage from the (ecclesiastical) doorstep’: Guilford Cathedral fundraising to repair iconic glass panes damaged by vandals completes, as artist sought

Guilford Cathedral is seeking artist via the ender process to repair John Hutton’s Angel Door of the Cathedral.

image Guildford Cathedral

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