About HELM

Putting Local Authorities at the HELM

Local government have a huge role to play in the preservation and protection of our historic environment. Not only do authorities own and run large parts of our heritage, but they also have key roles to play in ensuring that is protected both through direct conservation and by making sure that new developments are built and designed to fit sympathetically into their surroundings. That is why English Heritage established HELM.

HELM (Historic Environment Local Management) provides accessible information, training and guidance to decision makers in local authorities, regional agencies and national organisations whose actions affect the historic environment. The HELM programme was set up by English Heritage in 2004 with the aim of working with key partners to provide the tools to manage change in the historic environment with increased skill and confidence. 

The HELM website contains the latest English Heritage publications, information on Heritage Protection Reform, details of HELM and other training events, useful web links and news. There are searchable databases of good practice case studies and of local authority historic environment publications. These have been collected from across England to encourage the sharing of knowledge, experience and good practice across the sector.
The site also contains a wealth of information, policy statements and guidance under the topic buttons:

What you can do

There are many ways in which you can get involved:

  • Ensure your local authority has a Heritage Champion. If not, contact us at for advice on appointing one
  • Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter for the latest information about HELM training courses, publications, case studies and Heritage Champions news.
  • Promote projects that deliver social, economic and historic environment benefits in equal measure
  • Help us to promote and share best practice
  • Aim to ensure that historic environment services in your authority are properly resourced, utilised and consulted
  • Work with us. Send us case studies showing good practice and guidance which we will put on the HELM website
  • Provide feedback and ideas that can help us improve our service to you. Contact us at   

Steering towards the future

English Heritage is committed to helping local authorities develop the skills, knowledge, advice and capacity to make the most of their historic environment, the HELM programme relates directly to central government agendas. English Heritage promotes the need for properly resourced and actively consulted historic environment departments, conservation officers, archaeologists and historic environment records. More than 70% of local authorities have now appointed heritage champions to provide leadership on heritage issues.

HELM works closely with key partners including the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Institute of Historic Building Conservation, Institute of Field Archaeologists, Local Government Association, Royal Town Planning Institute, Planning Officers Society and Planning Advisory Service. Email for further information.

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