This page provides information on local authority Heritage Champions and details of the support and opportunities available to Heritage Champions.
What is a local authority Heritage Champion?
A Heritage Champion is normally a local councillor who has been nominated by their authority to promote all aspects of the historic environment in their area. It is up to the local authority to decide what nomination process to use.
What does a local authority Heritage Champion do?
Heritage Champions can be very influential in helping local authorities manage the historic environment of their area. They promote heritage within their authority, can ensure good quality planning decisions are made and support their local historic environment services (both archaeological and historic buildings conservation officers).
Champions can make sure that local plans and strategies capture the contribution that the local historic environment can make to the success of an area.
It is up to each Heritage Champion to interpret the role in a way that fits with the Champion’s own interests and position, along with local conditions. Nevertheless, a Heritage Champion will generally:
- Generate enthusiasm for and awareness of the importance of the local historic environment.
- Help ensure that commitment to the proper care of the historic environment is embedded in all relevant activities and plans of the local authority.
- Influence and communicate with others to ensure benefits for the historic environment.
If you are a new Heritage Champion, please use our new Short Guide for New Heritage Champions (2016).
For more advice on what you, as a Heritage Champion can achieve please read the Heritage Champions Handbook.
However, probably the most important thing you can do is tell people you are there:
- Inform Historic England by contacting your local engagement advisor (LEA) at your local office. If you have any general questions about the initiative, email champions@HistoricEngland.org.uk.
- Get in touch with the relevant officers within your authority, such as the historic buildings conservation officer and archaeological officer.
- Let the local community know by making sure your new role is included on your local authority’s website.
Support and advice available to Heritage Champions
Historic England provides opportunities and advice which support Heritage Champions in their role. We do this in a number of ways:
- Our Heritage Champion Handbook explains what a Champion can do and what support's available to you.
- We send Heritage Champions our newsletter to keep you up to date on policy developments, the latest publications and our training programmes, such as Historic Environment Local Management.
- We provide direct, one-to-one support through local and national events and training, where Heritage Champions can keep up to date on recent developments in the sector, develop skills and share ideas with other Champions.
- We connect Heritage Champions to local networks: Your local Historic England office may be able to make contact with Champions in neighbouring authorities and develop local networks where you can share advice and discuss cross border issues.
Historic England advice and resources
- The joint publication with the LGA Making the most of your heritage assets: the future of local historic environment services.
- The annual Heritage Counts report. This report presents resources such as the Local Authority Profiles. These can be used to help Heritage Champions understand the scope of heritage in any given local authority.
- For more details, see our Local Management page. This provides information on local authority and community management of the historic environment.
Does my local authority have a Heritage Champion?
If you are not sure whether your authority has a Heritage Champion, you can contact them directly or contact Historic England, either through your local office or by emailing us.
We encourage all local authorities to appoint a Heritage Champion. If your authority does not have a Champion, we recommend that you contact them to ask them to appoint one.
If you are a local councillor who would like to become a Heritage Champion, contact your council leader and your fellow councillors.