January 2011

Historic Towns Forum Update

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Message from the new Director

From all of us at HTF a belated Happy New Year to you all! So far it’s proving to be a busy one: the New Year brought us the second reading of the Localism Bill on 17 January; key areas in the Bill of concern to the heritage sector are Neighbourhood Plans and Development Orders. At HTF in particular there is much concern over Schedule 12 which will effectively abolish S66 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. This will see the loss of statutory considerations around the setting and enhancement of the historic environment. Because of this we are keen to see that the contents of the proposed National Planning Policy Framework, which should ensure that policies on protection that might be omitted from Neighbourhood Plans, are retained. Scrutiny of the Bill has commenced – if you would like to input to our response or respond individually we have until 28 February to comment on content of the NPPF and until 10 March for the Bill. Here at the HTF we recognise the importance of the Bill to our future work and are planning a series of events around this. Our first one is on 4 February – book here and we will look forward to seeing you!

Understanding Localism

The Localism Bill foreshadows yet more radical change to the planning system, with proposals to give local authorities and local people much more power to shape their own communities. But how might these ideas work in practice? Will local people use them to embrace or resist growth? A half day seminar on 4 February in London will look at the vision behind the Localism Bill, its progress through Parliament, its main provisions and how communities in our towns and cities can use the opportunities in the Bill to best advantage. View the seminar programme and book your place.

Improve your town or city centre at night - Go for the Purple Flag!

The Purple Flag award scheme offered by the ATCM recognises excellence in place management in town and city centres at night, setting standards going forward for managing successful evening economies, and benchmarking performance. All historic towns are able to apply for the Purple Flag status. HTF Members from both small and large towns are invited to find out how to assemble a successful entry to achieve the Purple Flag standard at a FREE workshop on 25 February.

Tourism in adversity

In the midst of one of the most challenging economic environments the country has experienced, the tourism sector has been described by the Prime Minister as a local industry with huge economic opportunity. But can the sector seize this opportunity? This year’s International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) Annual Conference on local economic development and tourism reviewed these prospects. Former HTF Chair, Brian Human, delivered an inspiring presentation on how heritage, tourism and planning can work together. View all the conference presentations. As a direct result of this conference, HTF has been invited to host an event around Tourism, Localism and LEPs in April. More as details become available.

Consultations and responses

The DCMS Business Plan 2011-15 Transparency consultation seeks views on indicators and data that will be published to show progress against the DCMS Business Plan. If you wish to respond individually or let HTF know your views the deadline is 31 January.
National Heritage Protection Plan: Interim Version Consultation (English Heritage) 14 February
National Policy Planning Framework 28 February

Localism Bill 10 March
Previous HTF responses:
Tree Preservation Orders: Proposals for Streamlining
The Setting of Heritage Assets: EH Guidance

Free downloads coming soon!

There is a wealth of good practice guidance in the HTF publications focusing on tourism, public realm, housing growth and retail including titles such as the Manual for Historic Streets, Bus Based Park & Ride and Details and Good Practice in Shopfront Design. All provide policy and practical guidance on how to best manage our historic towns and cities. Very soon HTF Members will be able to download all the HTF publications for free. Not sure if your organisation is a member? Check here or join now.

The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice

Another special offer for HTF Members! A 30% discount on a subscription to The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice, a twice-yearly, peer-reviewed journal published in both print and online formats, for all those who investigate, conserve and manage the historic environment. Get your individual subscription at the discounted rate.

Part funded internships apply now!

Are you are looking for graduate input into a new or existing project? HTF Partner, University of the West of England (UWE) has a graduate internship scheme for 2010/2011 which offers internships for a minimum of 8 weeks full-time or up to 16 weeks part-time. UWE will pay employers a subsidy of £1000 and the intern must be paid a minimum of £250 a week if full time (part time pro rata). Find out about eligibility criteria, more details and register interest in the scheme. HTF hopes to replicate this scheme for HTF Members working on heritage projects in the future.

Former HTF Director Chris Winter has been granted Honorary Membership

After 13 years of exemplary service to HTF it was unanimously agreed among the Executive that Chris Winter be granted honorary membership of HTF. Congratulations to Chris – we are sure our membership will agree that this has been thoroughly deserved.

The Listed Property Show 19-20 February

HTF Member, The Listed Property Owners Club, are hosting this event at Olympia, London, which will offer practical advice and ideas to current and prospective owners of period properties. Come and say hello to us at the HTF stand where we will have a wealth of information that could help you with your historic building, whether you need direction on planning, transport, climate or sustainability issues. Find out more about the Listed Property Show.

Ecobuild 2011

HTF are pleased to support Ecobuild, the world’s largest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, taking place on 1-3 March 2011 at ExCel, London. Leading thinkers and doers are invited to share their views on the issues affecting the sector at the Ecobuild blog.

Low Carbon High Skills - Free training opportunities in SW England

There is no doubt about the importance of the low carbon agenda for improved energy efficiency of the built environment. HTF Partner UWE is offering two one-day workshops in March: Low Carbon Retrofit of Historic Buildings and Low Carbon Commercial Design, designed to upskill professionals in low carbon technologies necessary for the future. Book your places