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The funding of heritage-linked regeneration post Covid-19

CGI of Northgate Oxford development for Jesus College, looking to Cornmarket (MICA)

This week Future Cities Forum is holding an online discussion forum to find out whether heritage buildings are struggling for funding post Covid-19 and what effect long term this will have on our towns and cities.

Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ros Kerslake will be joined by the Head of Regeneration at Leeds City Council, Adam Brannen and Stuart Cade, Director of architects MICA.

Ros Kerslake who is a much valued member of Future Cities Forum and first spoke at a previous event we held at RIBA London in January 2018 advising organisations on how best to apply for heritage funding. The National Lottery Heritage Fund states it is the largest dedicated grant funder of the UK's heritage and since 1994 has awarded over £8 billion to more than 44,000 projects across the UK and provides leadership and support across the heritage sector, advocating for the value of heritage.

Adam Brannen will be speaking about the importance of building a clear heritage strategy, drawing in the right investors and development partners and occupiers together to deliver heritage-led property solutions. He will also examine the importance of understanding conservation deficit and the role of funding in addressing it. Adam will focus on projects such as 'Temple Works' where the British Library may become a high profile occupier solution to major heritage at risk, as well as Hunslet and Victoria Mills which is an example of a local authority brokering a development solution.

Stuart Cade is a director of MICA Architects a RIBA Chartered practice, which is working collaboratively with stakeholders, communities and local government to make environments which endure, always learning from the ways people inhabit buildings and landscapes. Stuart has over twenty years of experience working in master planning, education, performance, museum and gallery design with a particular expertise in contemporary buildings and additions to complex, often historic settings. Most recently Stuart has been leading a major new commission for Jesus College Oxford University working with buildings originating in medieval times and post war years, connecting educational provision with the 'high street'.

Future Cities Forum will touch on the recent announcements by the UK government on funding for towns and heritage appointments.

On 25th September 2020, it announced an £80 million fund to over a hundred towns in England to help them 'build back better'. Funding it says will kick start local projects, driving growth and improving the environment.

Three days previous to this, the Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP announced that he had appointed Nicholas Boys Smith to establish a new design body, tasked with driving up design standards and supporting local communities to produce design codes defining beautiful design in each community.

The Housing Secretary also announced the appointment of Charles O'Brien as the government's Listing Heritage Adviser to help conserve some of England's historic buildings as part of the most ambitious local heritage campaign for forty years. The government states that this is the first time such a post has been created since the 1980's and has echoes of the famous Monuments Men who battled to save historic buildings and artefacts from bulldozers during the Second World War.

All content recorded form this week's discussions will be included in our master planning report to be published shortly.

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