The £700,000 campaign will challenge local authorities across England to draw up lists of local heritage buildings with significant value to an area, ensuring important monuments are not neglected
Local people will be empowered to nominate local heritage assets which are important to them and reflect their local area. It will be supported by a team of heritage experts and funded by £700,000 to help 10 English counties identify areas which need protecting.
To support this, Historic England will launch a national campaign on local identity, getting people talking about what defines our heritage.
The communities’ secretary is contacting every parish council in England to ensure they are conserving buildings which have played a remarkable role in their local history and that need support.
Whilst this is already happening in some areas such as Lee-on-the-Solent, which has overseen the redevelopment of a Second World War Naval site into modern housing, the news will mean all councils will have to follow their example and protect their local historic buildings.
Building on September’s announcement of £95m to boost the economic potential of 69 High Street Heritage Action Zones, the government will also work with Historic England to identify important local heritage buildings in these zones.
Communities’ secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said: “Today I’ve launched the most ambitious heritage preservation campaign for decades.
“This will empower local people to protect thousands of historic buildings and preserve them for future generations.”
Culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, added: “Our built heritage is one of the things that make England one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
“It helps us attract millions of visitors every year who are keen to see the historic buildings at the heart of our communities, helping to boost our economy and make our towns and cities better places to live, work and visit.
“By encouraging more local listings, we will ensure that buildings are protected for future generations so that the benefits heritage brings are felt right across the country.
“A new national design code, to be published next year, will also require local authorities to ensure any development reflects existing character and heritage.”