What is HELM (Historic Environment - Local Management)?

HELM is an English Heritage capacity building programme providing accessible information, training and guidance to decision makers in local authorities, regional agencies and national organisations whose actions affect the historic environment.

HELM comprises three strands:

  • The website helm.org.uk
  • An ongoing training programme for local authority officers, members and Heritage Champions
  • A range of expert guidance documents available to download from the guidance library or available in hard copy via customer services on

HELM was launched by English Heritage in March 2004. Further information on HELM is available on this website (see About HELM) or via email at .

The Relationship between Historic Environment and Design Champions

Many local authorities have already appointed Design Champions, either at senior officer or at Member level. The primary role of a Design Champion is to ensure that design issues are taken into account at each stage of the decision making process within the local authority. There is a clear relationship between the roles of Design and Heritage Champions and it is often beneficial for the two posts to work closely together. In many cases local authorities have decided the two roles should be combined.

Further details, advice and information on the role and responsibilities of Design Champions are available from CABE (, CABE main tel or www.cabe.org.uk).

What's New?

  • Britain was the world’s first industrial nation and has a wealth of industrial heritage but many industrial sites have been lost or are at risk due to functional redundancy. English Heritage's survey has shown that the percentage of listed industrial buildings at risk is three times greater than the national average for listed buildings at risk.
  • The value of a well managed, protected and appreciated historic environment to both our quality of life and to the economy is well established. Heritage tourism contributes £20.6 billion to GDP a year whilst research shows that 93% of people think that in improving their local place it is important to save heritage assets.