This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

What is a Heritage Champion?

The network of Heritage Champions across the country supports the protection of the historic environment at a local level. We encourage all local authorities to appoint a Heritage Champion.

If you are not sure if your authority has a Heritage Champion, you can contact them directly or contact Historic England, either through our local offices or by emailing us (see below).

If your authority doesn't 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.

What is a 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 how to nominate their Heritage Champion.

1975 black and white photo - meeting table with people in offices of the architects austin smith lord
Heritage Champions play an important role in local decision-making © Historic England AA068225 by John Gay 1975

What does a Heritage Champion do?

Heritage Champions can be very influential. As a Heritage Champion, it’s up to you to interpret the role in a way that fits with your own interests, position and local conditions.

At a strategic level, 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.

More specifically, you can:

  • Help local authorities manage the historic environment of their area
  • Promote heritage within your local authority, generating 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; for example, helping to ensure good quality planning decisions are made
  • Support your authority's local historic environment services (both archaeological and historic buildings conservation officers). Influence and communicate with others to ensure benefits for the historic environment

New Heritage Champion?

Please read our Starter Guide for New Heritage Champions (2016).

Probably the most important thing to 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. Make sure your new role is included on your local authority’s website

Want more advice?

Thinking about what you as a Heritage Champion can achieve? Visit our Support and Advice page.

Heritage Champions Handbook

Heritage Champions Handbook

Published 18 May 2016

This handbook is a guide for all Heritage Champions. It provides information on what they can do in their role, how they can do it, and outlines contacts and sources of information.

Was this page helpful?

Contact

Heritage Champions