About Historic England
We are the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment. Our vision is for a heritage that is valued, celebrated and shared by everyone. A historic environment that people connect with and learn from and that we are proud to pass on to future generations.
By protecting and caring for our historic environment, and through our research, listing, grant-aiding, planning and technical advice, we help our heritage have a positive impact on the world around us.
Our work is varied and diverse:
- We delivered over £80 million in grants in 2020-21 to help protect the historic environment and sustain organisations, places and craftspeople through the Covid-19 pandemic, and give them the best possible chance of recovery.
- We target our resources and expertise through national programmes, such as our award-winning Heritage Schools programme, and our Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) and High Street HAZ schemes, which support over 90 places across the country to use the historic environment as a catalyst for economic and social recovery and growth.
- Our campaigns and public programming work engages communities, broadens our reach, and helps even more audiences discover why the historic environment matters to everyone.
- We are digitising even more of the 12 million photographs, plans and drawings in the Historic England Archive to make even more of this incredible resource available online.
- We maintain and publish the Heritage at Risk register, which helps draw attention to places most at risk of being lost forever through neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
- We make over 1,000 recommendations a year to the Secretary of State on new and existing designations on the National Heritage List for England.
- We are responsible to Government for the care and operation of the National Heritage Collection - over 400 historic sites and monuments that are under the nation’s ownership or protection - which are managed on our behalf by the English Heritage Trust, and we support and monitor English Heritage in its care and maintenance of the Collection and toward its goal of financial self-sufficiency.
- We work closely with MHCLG and DCMS on planning reforms, and our research and advice continues to support the successful development and implementation of the new planning system.
- We work with planning authorities, owners and developers at the local plan and pre-application stages to provide advice, support and – where necessary – challenge on internationally significant and potentially contentious proposals, including those within World Heritage Sites. On average, we are consulted on over 20,000 applications for planning permission and listed building consent each year.
- We commission and produce research, guidance and training on a huge range of subjects, and publish Heritage Counts, an annual overview of the state of England’s historic environment.
We have recently published our Future Strategy 2021 – Championing Heritage, Improving Lives and our Corporate Plan 2021-22, which set out how now, more than ever, Historic England can support the historic environment and our communities through the Covid-19 recovery and beyond.