Buildings and Structures at Risk
Historic England has long been recording the condition of our built heritage. With information going back to 1998 we can track trends over time. This helps us to understand why historic buildings or structures are at risk, how to improve their condition and how they can make the best contribution to the vitality and success of our communities and places.
The following buildings and structures can be included on the Heritage at Risk Register:
- Grade I and II* listed buildings not in use as places of worship
- Grade II listed buildings in London not in use as places of worship
- Scheduled monuments with above ground structural remains
There are currently 1,462 buildings and structures on the Register.
Buildings or structures are assessed for inclusion on the Register on the basis of condition and occupancy or use.
Their condition can usually be improved by finding imaginative new uses, inspirational owners, alternative sources of funding or new partners.
However, not all buildings or structures are capable of being used. These often present the biggest challenges and hardest problems to solve. From medieval ruins to redundant bridges and cemetery monuments, these sites lack an economic incentive for owners to care for them. In these circumstances our grants and those of our partners are critical.
The current situation
We have reached the 21st year of the Heritage at Risk Register and our data continues to show a steady decline in the number of buildings and structures at risk.
However we add new entries to the Register every year, which is why the overall number of buildings and structures at risk has only fallen to 1,462. There are 27 fewer buildings or structures on the Register which although small in number reflects a positive trend. There have been 76 buildings or structures removed from the Register in the last year for positive reasons.
The Register really works to focus our efforts, the attention of the public, investors and other stakeholders on the most deserving cases.
The challenge ahead
We still face a number of significant challenges:
- Continuing to champion the important role of historic buildings and structures in creating successful and vibrant places
- Finding ways to bridge the funding gap for buildings and structures that are capable of use but aren't currently economically viable
- Finding solutions for buildings and structures that are not capable of beneficial use
- Supporting local authorities to use their legal powers to secure repairs, particularly given the ongoing decline in local authority resources
- Understanding the condition of Grade II listed buildings not eligible for inclusion on our Register (with the exception of those in London)
We prioritise our grants to meet these challenges but partnership is also critical in delivering solutions. Local authorities, Natural England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, charitable trusts, private investors and developers are all key partners.