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Heritage Works - Practical Toolkit for Heritage-Led Regeneration

An invaluable publication offering owners, developers and local authorities a toolkit of good practice for the use of historic buildings in regeneration.

Following 'good practice' principles can increase the chances of success of heritage-led development projects in our urban and rural environments, according to leading experts from The British Property Federation (BPF), English Heritage, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Deloitte Real Estate.

Updated Publication Now Available

Relaunched today, Heritage Works is an updated publication from the 2006 first edition that takes into account new national planning policy guidance and provides new case study evidence to show how heritage-based regeneration can work in practice. It is collectively written by these principal bodies combining their expertise and in-depth knowledge of heritage properties and the market. The practical step-by-step guide for developers, owners, local authorities and advisers provides invaluable advice and warns of common pitfalls and points to ways of overcoming them.  It signposts more than 30 information sources and is intended as the 'first-stop' reference document or 'toolkit' for the regeneration of the historic environment and heritage buildings.

Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "Heritage Works provides practical advice on what creates successful heritage-led regeneration. It shows that by applying some basic principles, developers are giving themselves and our important historic buildings a much better opportunity for success."

The publication features a chart for navigating listed building consent and lists issues to consider when assessing heritage properties.  It also considers the importance of breaking cycles of decline, as well as a range of issues such as concept development, economic benefits, characterisation, VAT, fund-raising, CIL, the public realm and conservation management plans.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: "England possesses some of the finest architectural heritage in the world that when used properly as an asset, and given new life, continues to be one of the cornerstones of the economic and social revival of many of our towns and cities. Such regeneration represents an opportunity for conservationists and the development industry to work together to transform the built environment and public realm for the communities that live and work there."

Rob Colley, partner and head of public sector at Deloitte Real Estate, said: "Enlightened developers and authorities are leading the way in realising that heritage assets can play a central role in achieving the successful and sustainable revitalisation of our towns, cities and rural areas. Historic buildings are increasingly seen as an opportunity rather than a constraint: they create focal points of character and can confer economic and social value beyond their own boundary. The work of Gloucester Renaissance, Royal William Yard in Plymouth and Leopold Square in Sheffield are great examples that heritage really works."

Mark Walley, RICS UK and Ireland executive director, said: "An action critical to success is really understanding the heritage asset in question. This includes early consultation with English Heritage and the local planning authorities, ensuring a viable economic use and paying the right price for the asset. We don't have to go far to see successful schemes enhancing our built environment. The 53 acre redevelopment of the former railway lands at King's Cross incorporates 20 historic buildings into its fabric - helping to define and enhance one of the most important regeneration projects in Europe."

Creative Industries Based in Listed Buildings

More than 80 per cent of applications for listed building consents are granted. Forthcoming research from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery fund indicates that listed buildings are particularly favoured by retail and restaurant occupiers, helping to create vibrant urban environments, and that more than half of commercial occupiers of listed buildings are from professional services. In certain areas we see major concentrations of creative industries based in listed buildings. Soho Conservation Zone has 280 such companies and the Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area 165. 

Colley concludes: "Conservation meaning strict preservation is thankfully progressing towards a more balanced, flexible and enlightened approach, with a greater degree of consultation and collaboration between owners, developers, occupiers and planning authorities".

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