22 Jun 2017
As Editor of the Building Conservation Journal, I constantly find myself looking at material that is completely new to me.
Case studies from all over the country present new developments and techniques, and I am extremely thankful for my editorial advisory group who explain these concepts. Heritage and conservation projects by their very nature need us to uncover the truth about materials or a building’s purpose and properly contextualise it. In other words, we can all benefit from education.
In this issue, Henry Russell discusses skills programmes for keen conservationists. Those courses currently available look at energy efficiency, the listing process and project funding, as well as contract management and the importance of seeking expert advice. Conservation draws on many disciplines – real estate, planning, archaeology, construction and history all come into play. Also discussing skills and learning, our regular Update details Historic England consultations and outlines Scottish advice on interiors and accessibility in historic properties.
On the theme of education, the annual RICS Summer School takes place in September at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. Marianne Suhr offers a tempting insight into the planned events, including lectures and technical discussions, specialised presentations on materials, a “lime day” as well an evening tour of the city.
In looking at education, skills and progress, the next issue will see the start of a new series of Materials Information Sheets, covering a different resource each time. In this edition, Alan Forster introduces the series, which will offer a valuable platform for building surveying practitioners and direct them to additional reading on the subject. We will cover the materials commonly encountered by practitioners, and as such, we would welcome your views on materials topics.
Projects don’t just happen of their own accord, of course, and access to money is vital. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), established in 1994, provides grants for not-for-profit organisations, and Sara Crofts, Head of Historic Environment at the fund, looks back over the past 20 years. In this time, almost 20,000 historic buildings and monuments have been restored and more than 3,200 projects funded to help conserve threatened habitats and species.
Research confirms that people see heritage as directly improving their quality of life, providing opportunities and instilling local pride, to name just a few benefits. The HLF will launch its next framework in 2019, and consultations about its shape and content will begin later this year. If you want to be involved, the HLF would be delighted to hear from as broad a range of heritage professionals as possible.
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