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English Heritage split

Westminster Abbey. Source: Wikimedia.

Martin Bailey, UK culture secretary outlines the future of English Heritage after split, 26 February 2015

Funding for the two organisations will be the major question after years of swingeing cuts in government aid.

Sajid Javid, the UK culture secretary, announced today the final details of the future of English Heritage. The organisation will be split on 1 April, with its regulatory role going to a new body called Historic England and its properties to a charity keeping the name English Heritage.

Speaking at a briefing at Westminster Abbey on 26 February, Javid described the establishment of the English Heritage charity as a “revolutionary” development. He said: “Our heritage does not belong to the government. It belongs to all of us. So, released from the restrictive hand of Whitehall control, the new English Heritage charity will be free to explore new ways of engaging with communities.”

The key question for the new organisations is money, and what will happen when the present body is split in two. The government wants the English Heritage charity (with its 400 properties open to the public) to become self-supporting in seven years. Until then there will be a declining annual government subsidy, starting at £16m in the financial year beginning in April and falling to nothing in 2022/23.

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