2014 news articles

Fire door safety week - 14-20 September 2015

Fire Door Safety Week is an annual campaign instigated by the British Woodworking Federation, the BWF-CERTIFIRE Fire Door Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), and is supported by the Government’s Fire Kills campaign and a wide range of property organisations and fire safety bodies.


The week highlights the need for all organisations to be fully informed of their responsibilities under the Fire Safety Order, and to understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of fire doors.


Building owners, landlord, facilities and estates managers and anyone with responsibility for fire safety can access free resources in an online toolkit to help spread the word about fire door safety. These include technical checklists to help with fire door inspections, videos and posters that can be used in any public or multiple occupancy building to educate people on basic fire door rules.


There are also many other ways to get involved, including putting Fire Door Safety Week messages on websites and social media, running events and carrying out full onsite inspections.


Follow @FDSafetyWeek on Twitter for campaign news and updates, or look out for tweets using the hashtag #FireDoorSafetyWeek.




Making the most of local toursim opportunities - HTF member discount - 05 June London

Book your place at the next GTBF seminar today.

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Find out how to put a place on the radar and unlock the potential of tourism opportunities at our next GTBF seminar, now only two weeks away. Make sure you don't miss out and click here to book your place today.

How best to deliver visitor facilities and marketing in local towns and areas will be the subject of this upcoming summer meeting of the Forum, in partnership with the emerging new Business Improvement Districts and Local Economic Partnership agencies. It will take place on Friday 5th June at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in London, preceeding the Group Travel Awards that evening, from 1.30pm to 5.30pm.

The last few years have seen major changes in how tourism is supported, promoted and managed at the local and regional level throughout the UK. With the disappearance of the previous regional tourism boards and development agencies, and cutbacks in the tourism role of local authorities, a gap has been left to be filled for promotion and support for local destinations.

We will hear from some of the pioneering local bodies and what they have achieved, the issues that need to be tackled, the benefits to be achieved by supporting the local visitor economy, how to get individual places to be recognised for their distinctiveness and individuality, and how group buyers choose the kinds of places they like to visit. There will also be contributions from the Tourism Alliance on how it would like the Government to support local tourism activity, and the new plans being developed to this end by VisitEngland.

A new generation of Destination Management Organisations has been emerging at a sub-regional level, with a varied range of organisational and participatory structures. Some are led by tourism enterprises getting together to mutual benefit, whereas others are emerging from newly established Local Economic Partnerships and Business Improvement Districts.

All these activities are potentially important for the group travel sector. Some of the new bodies are well on the case with regard to group travel, whereas others seem to hardly recognise its existence. Our afternoon seminar will provide an important opportunity to discuss this topic and help spread the word about achievements and ideas.

The seminar is free to GTBF members, £45.00 + VAT to those already attending the Group Travel Awards and £65.00 + VAT to all other attendees. The special rate of £45.00 + VAT will also apply to members of the co-sponsoring bodies, British BIDs and the Local Enterprise Partnerships network.

For any enquiries please contact Rebecca Bradbury on 01424 572082 or email  rebecca.bradbury@grouptravelorganiser.com

Or if you are ready to book now, please click here.


Local Tourism and the Visitor Economy: Putting your Place on the Map

1.30 pm – 2pm Registration

Chair: Kurt Janson, Policy Director, Tourism Alliance

2pm Introduction: partnering to present places as destinations.
Peter Stonham, Editorial Director, Landor Travel Publications and Group Travel Business Forum Giles Semper, The Means and Better Bankside BID

2.20pm Supporting local tourism development - a new framework from VisitEngland
Lyndsey Swift, Head of Partnerships, Visit England

2.35pm Getting it together locally – who can best hold the reins? Alun Williams Bournemouth Coastal BID

2.50pm Putting a place on the radar. Tom Evans, Local Economic Development Consultant and BID Manager for Welsh towns

3.05pm Help is at hand: Getting into the digital mobile information chain.
Maxine Beuret and Dave Johnstone, Mobile Heritage Website Developers

3.30pm – 4pm Tea break

Chair: Peter Stonham, Director, GTBF

4.00pm Can we learn from abroad? The German approach to regional and local destination marketing.
Speaker from German University Tourism department*

4.15pm A group buyer’s view – what makes a visit worthwhile? Colin Crosby, Groups Visit Organiser and Blue Badge Guide

4.30pm On being an ambassador for your home town. Roger Bailey, Coventry City Councillor, Blue Badge Tourist Guide and Civic Advocate

4.45pm Making the most of your assets: Themes and identities. Stephen Hallam, Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Shop and Tourism DMO

5.00pm Panel discussion

5.45pm Close

*Subject to confirmation


Publications and Toolkits

Planning Practice Guidance published online

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched the final ‘alpha’ version of the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) online. This is accompanied by a list of previous planning practice guidance documents that are superseded by the guidance.
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Loss of local authority conservation staffing

A new report by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), supported by English Heritage, shows a continued decline in local authority conservation staffing with a reduction in 4% in 2012, part of a ‘devastating 33% cut since 2006’.
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IHBC Research Note - VAT and Heritage

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation has issued a research note on ‘Policy regarding VAT and historic buildings’. The document can be downloaded from the IHBC web site.
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Environmental Audit Committee report on HS2

The Government’s Environmental Audit Committee has issued its report on HS2 and the Environment. The report recommends that the Government should aim higher than its objective of no net biodiversity loss and says that it has significant work to do to demonstrate that it has put the “mitigation hierarchy” at the heart of its approach. The report includes a comprehensive set of recommendations.
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GB Tourism Survey 2014

The tourism survey figures for March 2014 have been published by Visit England. The number of trips, nights away and spend were all lower than in March 2013. However, the Easter holiday was later this year and the weather for the early months of the year was exceptionally wet and unsettled. Full details of the survey are on the Visit England web site.
Visit Britain has also published a report giving details of the effect on tourism of factors including the UK and international economy, weather and exchange rates
Read more  and more

Study of High Street performance

The University of Southampton has published a report on recent trends in high street performance. It shows that there has been a modest revival in some high street activity, especially for specialist retailers such as artisan bakers, butchers and tea and coffee merchants.
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Northern Ireland Planning Reform

A consultation is underway on the proposed introduction of a two tier planning structure in Northern Ireland. It is intended that local councils will be responsible for developing their own local development plan and determining the majority of planning applications with only regionally significant applications being determined by the Department of the Environment. The consultation period will end on 20th August 2014. Read more

Housing Strategy for Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive has proposed that for the first time development of new housing of five or more units should include an element of social housing. The new obligation is part of the proposed Housing Strategy for Northern Ireland. The Department for Social Development is consulting on the proposed policy and the suggested level of contributions.
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Good Practice in Planning Consultation

English Heritage is undertaking consultation on Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning. EH has published 3 advice notes on good practice relating to

  • The Historic Environment in local plans
  • Decision Taking in the Historic Environment
  • The Setting of Heritage Assets.

It is inviting comments on the 3 notes from those engaged in the planning system as it relates to the historic environment. The consultation period ends on 5th September.
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HLF major funding awards

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a total of £72m to six major sites in England:

  • Canterbury Cathedral
  • Nottingham Castle
  • Bath Abbey
  • Beamish Open Air Museum
  • Blackpool Museum
  • Plymouth History Centre

For this and other recent HLF funding news, see below.
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New VisitBritain CEO brings strong digital and commercial skills

Christopher Rodrigues, our Chairman, today announced the appointment of Sally Balcombe as our next Chief Executive Officer, following a competitive appointment process and with the full support of all board members.
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£5m to repair First World War memorials

A fund of £5m has been set up to help conserve and protect war memorials. The fund has been established by a partnership of Civic Voice, English Heritage, War Memorials Trust, IWM and DCMS.
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Icon funding for conservation

The Institute of Conservation (Icon) has established a fund to provide grants for professional development for mud career conservators. Grants will range from £300 to £900 and between and 20 will be awarded each year.
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Partner Events

Talking Townscapes Gordon Cullen walk – 11 August Today) 6.00pm - London

Would you like to come on a celebratory walk from the Tower to Westminster on Monday 11 August from 6.00pm?  It is a walk to mark the life and influence of Gordon Cullen, architect, illustrator and visual urbanist (b. August 1914).

Writing in the Architectural Review, Gordon Cullen encapsulated the concept of visual coherence and organisation of our urban environment, under the theme of ‘townscape’.  He wrote a seminal book with the title Townscape published in 1961. Some have argued that many of his ideas and observations were not sufficiently robust, others have seen him in better light, as a significant contributor to visual urbanism, architectural history, and urban design as well as an accomplished illustrator.

Along the route, there will be stops to discuss (photograph & sketch) themes that Cullen described in ‘Townscape’ that encapsulated his arguments that visual coherence and organisation of buildings, streets and places contribute on a human scale to the civility of our cities. The walk is free but Talking Townscape would welcome donations to a fund to create an annual 3-day Talking Townscape Festival each August and an on-line platform to publicise walks and events to celebrate Cullen’s life and work.
Register here

Civic Convention 2014

Civic Voice will hold its fifth annual convention, in Canterbury, on the 24th and 25th October.
Read more and book here

Heritage Open Days 20th anniversary

Heritage Open Days will be held throughout the country from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th September. This will be the 20th year of the open days when thousands of buildings, sites and gardens which do not otherwise have public access are opened for free.
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Forthcoming Historic Towns Events – these will be online shortly

Retail and Tourism in Historic Towns - 15 October – Poulton-on-Fylde, Lancashire

We are currently planning a Retail and Tourism in Historic Towns event in Wyre, for October, with support from VisitEngland, English Heritage, Wyre Council and Revive & Thrive and Blue Sail. Ask for details here

Annual Conference – 25 November – Chester

Our Annual Conference this year will be held in the Chapter House at Chester Cathedral in November, and will focus on Growth Issues in Historic Towns. The event is supported by Donald Insall Associates and speakers include Donald Insall Associates, Chester Renaissance, English Heritage, HTF, and others. Ask for details here

Historic Built Environment Seminars Oxford 2014 – October 14 – FREE EVENT

The New Towns Agenda – Masterplanning for new towns, garden cities and urban extensions in the historic environment – theory, practice and examples

The Historic Towns Forum, the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages, and Kellogg College are pleased to announce the inaugural series of Historic Built Environment Seminars. Beginning in 2014, these seminars will address current and contentious topics within the historic built environment, fostering academic dialogue, professional practice, and providing an arena in which the public, private, civic and academic sectors can engage in heated and healthy debate about all aspects of the topic in hand. The seminar series will be accompanied by published proceedings each following year.

The first of these took place on 25 February, and was a full house, and a resounding success, featuring David Lock, of David Lock Associates (and ex- Milton Keynes Development Corporation Chief Planner) on New Towns and Masterplanning. This was followed on June 03 by Elain Harwood from English Heritage, on The building of the English New Towns, and was a riveting and lively canter through the history of the New towns movement.

Seminars begin with wine and nibbles at 7pm, followed by the seminar and discussion at 7.30pm. The event will finish at 9pm. The remaining seminars are as follows:

14 October Peter Larkham, Birmingham City University, on Conserving the post-Second World War reconstruction: a contentious idea

These are free events. Register here or register online
Please do join us!
Read more

Regeneration Project Officer - Heritage Post



Regeneration Project Officer - Heritage Lottery Funded                                              

Grade: PO4                                        

£37,476 - £40,218 per annum

Fixed term - 2 years (with a possibility of extension)

Ref: HDD/5336


Haringey has ambitious plans for housing, retail and commercial growth in both Tottenham and Wood Green over the coming decade.  Regeneration in Tottenham will be guided by the Strategic Regeneration Framework and the emerging Tottenham Area Action Plan. 


This will be complemented by investment of the recently secured grant of almost £1.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) Programme. The funding will be spent on recapturing the character of original High Road facades in the North Tottenham Conservation Area during the coming four years.


Work will include repairing the exteriors of the Victorian buildings and restoring historic architectural features, in accordance with a recently adopted Conservation Area Management Plan. The heritage led regeneration scheme will reflect Tottenham’s unique character, boost the local economy, generate a sense of pride, and secure the area’s future.

About the role
The role of regeneration projects officer will be specifically responsible for delivering the Tottenham High Road Historic Corridor (North), THI project.  This will include tendering for and managing specialist consultants, leading the partnership group, managing the budget, reporting progress to funding bodies and monitoring and evaluation.  You may also have the opportunity to input into other projects of a similar nature as and when they arise.



The post is located in the Housing Investment and Sites team within the Council’s Regeneration Service and will involve close liaison with the Tottenham Programme and the Planning Service.  This is a two year fixed term post with the possibility of extension to four years.

About you

You will be an experienced project manager, with practical experience of implementing grant funded physical regeneration schemes in a historic environment. You will have an understanding of business, particularly the retail trade and the economic benefits of regeneration in a high street context would be a benefit. Your strengths will include being an innovative and creative self-starter with the ability to manage an intense workload, and a good networker, able to enthuse and influence people.

How to Apply

To apply please go to http://jobs.haringey.gov.uk/Jobs.aspx where you can complete your application online. You can access the internet for free at all of Haringey’s libraries.

Closing date: 31 May 2015

Government rejects Environmental Audit committee advice on charging for carrier bags

The Government has chosen to exempt smaller businesses from the requirement to charge for carrier bags despite a recommendation from the Environment Audit Committee that there should be a system of universal charging, as there has been in Wales since 2011. The Government also intends to exempt paper bags from the charge, thus allowing any retailers who wish to avoid the charge to switch to paper, and even though paper bags from fast food are one of the most common items of litter.

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