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Historic England Evaluation

Historic England carries out external evaluation of its most important and innovative programmes, as well as surveying stakeholders to hold the organisation to account.

Relationship with local planning authorities

The 'Big 5' agencies who work closely with local planning authorities (LPAs) - Historic England, Environment Agency, Highways England, Health & Safety Executive and Natural England - previously conducted their own customer satisfaction survyes in relation to planning matters.

This research project was commissioned in 2014 to investigate whether or not there could be a singular, common approach adopted by the Big 5 in order to achieve efficiency in time, cost and reduce survey fatigue.

The overall objective was to identify the areas of importance to LPAs in driving satisfaction with service, and highlight good practice.

The results include insight into Historic England's service to LPAs in terms of:

  • Overall satisfaction in the last 12 months
  • Quality of planning advice
  • Quality of working partnership/satisfaction with service

Stakeholder surveys

In 2012 Historic England (then English Heritage) carried out a number of stakeholder surveys. Respondents included heritage professionals, owners of listed buildings and developers.

Key findings include:

  • The organisation continues to perform strongly on expert and technical advice.
  • The areas stakeholders see as most important but which the organisation is seen not to fulfil are: ensuring heritage influences strategy, and supporting the heritage sector.
  • Grants for expert advice and emergency repairs to safeguard heritage at risk is seen as the most important grant offer.

A programme of further stakeholder research is expected in 2015 and onward.

Programme evaluation

Social and Economic Research has been used to support the Heritage at Risk programme through the Evaluation of Grade II Pilot Projects . The research evaluated 18 pilot projects which assessed Grade II listed buildings and structures in specific localities. The evaluation involved:

  • Quality assuring the data provided by the pilots
  • Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Assessing the experiences of those involved in the pilots

The full results are available here:

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Adala Leeson

Head of Social and Economic Research

Engagement Group