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English Heritage's, Sir Neil Cossons
"We want to ensure we understand places for their history, and have an informed view of thier value and worth"
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Thursday, 14 December, 2000, 12:22 GMT
Action urged to save English heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage made a number of recommendations
Historic places need greater protection and investment if England's heritage is to be preserved, a major report has said.

Power of Place, compiled by English Heritage on behalf of the nation's conservation organisations, has made 18 recommendations which it says are necessary to preserve the historic environment

Its findings have been sent to the Government, which plans a major policy statement on heritage in the Spring.

Arts Minister Alan Howarth said the Government will be considering with "the greatest care" the analysis and recommendations in Power of Place.

Historic buildings

The report says VAT charged on repairs should be reduced to 5% to encourage people to restore and protect historic buildings.

It also recommends that 75m, just 2.5% of the tax revenue collected from tourism every year, would be enough to repair every Grade One and Two listed building over the next ten years.

Arts Minister Alan Howarth
Arts Minister Alan Howarth plans a major policy announcement on heritage in the autumn

English Heritage commissioned the largest ever survey of both conservation organisations and the public on how best to preserve historic places.

Its chairman, Sir Neil Cossons, said more attention should be paid to the environment around buildings, not just to the buildings themselves.

He said the wider environment around Britain's historic parks and buildings had often been "ignored or trampled through" over the last 50 years.

"Research proves that people value places for their beauty and character.

"They value places - the combination of streets, shops, houses and public spaces - whilst the existing legislation focuses on protecting individual buildings and monument."

The National Trust, which has almost three million members and is the country's third largest landowner, wants to see tax breaks, grants and other financial incentives to support the protection and conservation of the historic environment.

Its chairman, Charles Nunneley, said: "We hope that it will encourage the Government to give the support which will be necessary if its aims are to be achieved.

"It shows clearly the great importance of the historic environment in the lives of all of us and the real danger if we fail to look after it properly."

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30 Oct 00 | UK
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