View of a group of buildings at Chatham Dockyards.

The Grade II* No 1 Smithery at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, has been rescued and converted into a gallery and museum collections storage, making maritime treasures available to visitors. © Historic England (Image number 20170301_0001)
The Grade II* No 1 Smithery at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, has been rescued and converted into a gallery and museum collections storage, making maritime treasures available to visitors. © Historic England (Image number 20170301_0001)

Heritage at Risk: Buildings

At Historic England we've been collecting information on the condition of our built heritage since the publication of our first Register of listed buildings at risk in London in 1991.

The first national Register of buildings at risk was published in 1998 so this its 21st year. It includes a range of fantastically diverse assets across England which are in need of attention and championing. 

In 2011 we started adding information on the condition of listed places of worship to the Register so our national Heritage at Risk Register currently includes:

  • Grade I and II* listed buildings at risk including places of worship
  • Grade II listed buildings at risk in London including places of worship
  • Grade II listed places of worship at risk outside London

Listed buildings in secular use are assessed using the Buildings and Structures risk assessment. Listed buildings in use as places of worship are assessed using the Places of Worship risk assessment.

Ornate red brick building with a big central gable with an elaborately scrolled outline.
The Winter Gardens on Morecambe’s seafront are listed Grade II*. Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust, Friends and volunteers are working hard to repair and make this late 19th-century theatre viable. The Trust has applied for a Historic England grant © Historic England Archive DP234012

How we can help buildings at risk

Historic England's main role in securing the future of listed buildings is to provide practical advice, guidance and resources to owners and local authorities.

Our involvement is determined by the significance of the building, the complexity and urgency of the case and the potential to contribute to the success and vitality of places and communities.

We can offer help and support with projects including:

  • Analysing the problems facing a building, and making recommendations
  • Helping to identify the opportunities and the feasibility of options for future use
  • Helping to build the skills and resilience of community groups responsible for buildings
  • Helping to broker solutions between partners
  • Providing information on funding

Funding for repairs

Listed buildings at risk can be eligible for funding. Under our grant schemes we can help towards the cost of developing a project, as well as the repairs themselves. In some circumstances we can also help local authorities with the cost of using Urgent Works Notices and Repairs Notices to enforce the repair of listed buildings.

Although listed buildings at risk are a priority for Historic England's repair grants, our funding is limited compared to demand. Grants from other public sources, notably the National Lottery Heritage Fund, continue to be essential in helping secure the future of buildings at risk. Other funding sources can be found in the Heritage Funding Directory

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