What should a Heritage Champion do?

The key objective for the Heritage Champion is to ensure that the historic environment plays a central role in the development of all the authority’s policies, plans, targets and strategies. Champions work to persuade colleagues in both the local authority and the wider community that the historic environment offers many opportunities to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Because every Champion and every local authority is different, we leave it to you to interpret the role for yourself. However, the list below (as well the Case Studies section) provides guidance to new Champions on what can be achieved.

The Champion can:

  • Ensure that Cabinet portfolio holders and senior officers (including the Chief Executive) are aware of historic environment issues and opportunities as they relate to their service
  • Promote the value of the historic environment as a catalyst for coastal, urban and rural regeneration and neighbourhood renewal. Be alert to opportunities for the historic environment to attract inward economic investment and funding
  • Ensure that historic environment issues are taken into account in the preparation of all relevant corporate strategies and local development frameworks, including Community Strategies prepared by Local Strategic Partnerships and Local Area Agreements where appropriate
  • Ensure the provision of historic environment expertise is adequately resourced and organised and seek to ensure continuous improvement in the quality of service delivered to the public
  • Work with officers in the planning service to ensure that new development in historic areas responds creatively and sympathetically to its environment and ensure quality assurance, compliance and enforcement where necessary
  • In coastal, areas ensure that the historic environment is adequately considered (for example, within Shoreline Management Plans, Strategies, and individual flood and coastal risk management Schemes)
  • Ensure that the Authority’s key policies, such as education, highways management, tourism and leisure take proper account of the local and regional historic environment
  • Work with officers and colleagues in the Authority to develop a Conservation Management Statement or Strategy
  • Share examples of good practice within the authority relating to the historic environment and bring them to the attention of the relevant Members or officers
  • Work closely with corporate property officers and other colleagues and Members to ensure a positive and long-term strategic approach to the management and conservation of the Authority’s own historic estate, and to ensure that it is appropriately identified and recorded
  • Make sure all relevant colleagues within the Authority (both elected Members and officers) are aware of the available external expertise and advice on the historic environment available from bodies such as English Heritage and the national statutory amenity societies.

Please contact English Heritage on or via email for more information.

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