Promoting Participation with the Historic Environment
HC 189, Fifth Report of Session 2009-10 – Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons – Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
Widening opportunities for people to interact with the historic environment has been a policy objective of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for a number of years. In 2005, the Department agreed targets to increase the numbers of people who visit historic sites from three priority groups:
- those with a limiting disability;
- those from lower socio-economic groups; and
- those from black and minority ethnic groups.
The Department missed its targets to increase visits from two of the three priority groups but has no idea why. It has not conducted research into how achievable the targets were, or how they would be met, and the survey for measuring visits to historic sites does not allow the Department to evaluate the impact of its own activities or those of its main delivery agent, English Heritage.
English Heritage has a critical role to play in increasing public support and interest in heritage. However in recent years it has been faced with a decline in public funding, coupled with an increase in its responsibilities, and has therefore prioritised increasing the money it makes from visitors to its sites rather than increasing participation.
The Department did not convince the Committee that having a target focused on increasing visits from those in underrepresented groups to historic sites served a useful purpose. The proportion of the population visiting historic sites is already high and most of those who do not do so say they are not interested in heritage.
|Format||Paperback||Published||12 Jan 2010|
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