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Heritage Works

Front cover for Heritage Works 2013

The use of historic buildings in regeneration

By Tim Brennan, David Tomback

A partnership between English Heritage (now Historic England), the British Property Federation, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Deloitte has created a detailed guide to using heritage assets in regeneration projects.

'Heritage Works' combines the expertise of the property and conservation sectors and is a practical step-by-step guide for developers, owners, practitioners or community groups for creating successful heritage-led regeneration projects.

It shows how to prepare and plan for projects of this kind, and how to identify common pitfalls together with ways to overcome them. It includes links to more than 30 other information sources, and is designed to be a one-stop 'handbook' with comprehensive information and advice on how to successfully integrate the historic environment in new development.

'Heritage Works' has features such as a chart for navigating listed building consent and lists of issues to consider when surveying. It also includes information on issues such as breaking cycles of decline, concept development, economic benefits, using characterisation, VAT, fund-raising, the public realm and management plans.

Amongst comprehensive advice given for all stages of regeneration, three preliminary actions are critical to success:

  • Understand the heritage assets in question. Early consultation with Historic England and the local planning authority is crucial for all parties to gain a full understanding of the conservation value of the asset, the project, its costs and the opportunities. Consultation provides certainty for developers by avoiding surprise problems later in the process and helping all parties to reach early agreement.
  • Find a viable economic use. This must support the initial refurbishment, provide the owner or developer with a reasonable return on their investment and also generate enough income for the long-term maintenance of the building.
  • Pay the right price for the asset. Purchasers and owners should make sure they pay a price that reflects full knowledge of the conservation constraints and realistic repair costs. It is vital at this stage to work with and get the advice of experienced specialists.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Executive Summary
  • Context
  • The economic case
  • Using heritage assets in regeneration
  • Consents regime for heritage assets
  • Further sources of information

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Product Code: 51809


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