Thoughts on Financing Conservation and Cuts of 2010

I’m looking forward to Project and Disaster Management lectures at Ironbridge this weekend. I’ve stopped reeling from the Finance module last month.

Perspective and great depths of optimism are required when considering Fundraising for Conservation in todays economic climate. I feel armed to deal with this from my experiences in the Art world having been part of the application process for large funded projects; receiving money from the Arts Council and exceptionally from the Brighton & Hove City Council. (BLANK Studios and Gallery received funding to set up in 2007 for example)
I am both excited and awed by the scale of the budgets for the repair and conservation of Historic Buildings having slid across into the the Heritage Industry.


Hammerton School, Ouseburn Road, Darnall, Sheffield (1904, W.J.Hale, Grade II) The Victorian Societies Top 10 Endangered Victorian Building

Just for the record and to hopefully make us feel better in a year or so!… Here’s a break down of the cuts culminating in Dec last year.

English Heritage budget cut by 32%
Local Authorities cut 27%
CABE closed (although continuing in alternative structure)
Massive 3rd sector losses – quangos, development trusts, social enterprises. Some lost core funding cut overnight.
Design and Conservation staff within Local Planning Authorities around 7%
VAT increase to 20% (new built is zero-rated yet restoration and conservation works are not)

The result is the dissolution of a well developed structure and the necessary re organisation will gradually evolve over the next 2 and more years (much like what is happening in the public sector with education and healthcare). Exciting and terrifying in equal degree. A good time to be in education and I’ll feel the benefit of being engaged in current and emerging policy and to meeting some of the the great and the good to gain an insight into their responses and how we might choose go forward.

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