People in North East most interested in heritage

Much-needed work will take place to restore the grade II-listed greenhouse and potting shed, at Felton Park.
Much-needed work will take place to restore the grade II-listed greenhouse and potting shed, at Felton Park.

A YouGov poll commissioned to mark the launch of Historic England reveals that more people in the North East are interested in their local heritage than in any other region.

Historic England’s new chief executive Duncan Wilson and chairman Sir Laurie Magnus are in Gateshead today to unveil the organisation’s future work to champion the North East’s spectacular historic environment and meet local partners and heritage organisations at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Historic England (previously known as English Heritage) is the public body for England’s historic environment, caring for everything from prehistoric remains to post-war office buildings. Historic England provides expert advice, celebrates England’s most important heritage through listing, promotes constructive conservation, carries out research and gives guidance and grants.

To mark its launch, Historic England commissioned YouGov to survey people across England about how they relate to their heritage. The poll showed people in the North East are more interested in their local heritage than any other English region.

It also revealed that 51 per cent of people in the region have taken direct action to protect a local building or place from damaging change, from becoming derelict or disused. This figure, higher than the national average of 38 per cent, demonstrates how deeply people in the North East care about their local heritage and Historic England will continue to champion and protect this heritage through its upcoming work.

This work will include:

Celebrating and protecting the region’s important heritage by advising Government on which historic structures should be listed. This year, Historic England will continue an ambitious programme to list 2,500 war memorials during the First World War centenary period, and will be focusing on public libraries, post-war public sculpture and pubs across the country to see which merit listing;

Historic England will continue to help save the region’s Heritage at Risk by providing grant aid and expert advice, for example, supporting repairs at the ‘at risk’ grade II*-listed Felton Greenhouse.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “This is a new era for the North East’s heritage and Historic England is committed to working with local communities, owners and partners to ensure this heritage is valued and protected. From the North East’s special historic buildings to those that form the backdrop to everyday life, this heritage is the physical embodiment of the past and the legacy that together we shall carry into the future.”

For more information visit www.HistoricEngland.org.uk, follow @HE_NorthEast or sign up to the newsletter http://www.historicengland.org.uk/news-and-features/historic-england-newsletter/