Today, the AHF hosted a virtual event on Heritage, Place-Making and ‘Levelling Up’ which explored the unique role that local heritage can play in catalysing community economic renewal, in particular through the work of Heritage Development Trusts (HDTs). Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston MP spoke at the event and we were delighted that attendees were drawn from a diverse range of organisations, including central and local government, the heritage sector, community groups and civil society organisations.
As part of the event, the AHF published its progress report for the HDT Programme; an organisational capacity-building initiative which aims to enable charities and social enterprises delivering heritage-led regeneration to make a step change in their operations and support their long-term sustainability. In the two and a half years since its launch, the HDTs have, with relatively modest amounts of funding, collectively made significant progress enabling them to expand by taking on more projects and other activities in their communities. Given that almost the entire period of the initiative has coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, the scale of activity is quite remarkable.
The HDT initiative is part of the Architectural Heritage Fund’s Transforming Places through Heritage programme, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.