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People's Views on Industrial Heritage

Research commissioned by English Heritage (now Historic England) found that more than 8 out of 10 (86%) adults in England think that: it is important that we value and appreciate the industrial heritage of this country.

Over 2,000 people were interviewed for the survey, with the results weighted so that they reflect the population of England.

To read the full report, including results at a regional level, please download the relevant documents at the bottom of this page.

Heritage Open Days at Bancroft Mill, Barnoldswick, copyright Zuma Media Ltd
Heritage Open Days at Bancroft Mill, Barnoldswick, copyright Zuma Media Ltd

Key findings

The positives

  • People really care about our industrial heritage: 85% agree that it is important to identify significant sites from our industrial past so they can be protected
  • They value our industrial heritage because it is a reminder of what made our country great (71%), for its educational value (75%) and because it can provide direct links to our families' past (33%)
  • Overwhelmingly the public think that it is as important to preserve our industrial heritage as other types of heritage such as castles and country houses (80%)
  • People want to get more involved with industrial heritage in their local area: 52% would like more opportunity to give their opinion about which industrial sites they think should be protected, while 44% are interested in getting involved with helping to protect the industrial heritage in their local area
  • People strongly believe that our industrial heritage should not be demolished or left to decay: 71% agree that industrial heritage sites should be reused for modern day purposes while making sure their character is preserved

The challenges

  • Only 25% agree that "the industrial heritage sites I care about are well recorded and protected already" compared to 66% for historic buildings and archaeological remains overall
  • Younger people are less interested in industrial heritage than those aged 55 and over

Family visiting  a heritage site, copyright Alun Bull
Family visiting a heritage site, copyright Alun Bull
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