Capturing the Public Value of Heritage

More than 400 delegates attended the conference Capturing the Public Value of Heritage held at the Royal Geographical Society on the 25-26 January 2006. The conference was sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Trust. The papers presented at that conference have now been brought together in a report edited by Kate Clark of the Heritage Lottery Fund and published by English Heritage on behalf of the sponsors. The conference papers include speeches by ministers from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, presentations by international and national experts on their latest research on different aspects of value and heritage, an overview from Sir Neil Cossons and an introduction to Conservation Principles by Edward Impey.

The conference also heard about the role of heritage champions and the influence of citizens juries. The conference was notable for the recognition that value derives from the views of the whole of society, and not just experts. The challenge arising from the papers and discussions at the conference is to present evidence that the value of heritage is being captured for all in a way that the public and politicians can understand. The report of the conference includes a conclusion that summarises the next steps that the sponsors and others are planning to take to implement the public value concept.

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