Impact of Coronavirus

In this challenging and difficult time, we’re committed to continuing to provide our services and support to everyone as best we can. We're also working closely with heritage sector organisations to ensure that we all offer support for any queries you may have or practical issues that need to be addressed.

Find out how we're supporting the heritage sector

Following the latest advice from Government in relation to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we have closed all our sites and offices until further notice.

Our staff are working from home and we'll continue to provide advice and process grant payments as usual. We’re doing what we can to maintain our level of response to planning and listing applications and general enquiries, but please do bear with us if responses are a little slower than usual.

Our local teams remain the best first point of call so if you need to contact us, please email your region as normal:

Journalists with media enquiries should email [email protected] or call 020 7973 3250.

Also on this page:

An update on affected services

We have closed our sites and postponed a small number of planned activities in line with the latest advice:

ServiceUpdate
Bessie Surtees HouseThe site is now closed to the public until further notice.
Grant-Aided PlacesWe do not expect any grant-aided properties to be open at the current time. Anyone that has received a grant from us (or English Heritage before April 2015) will not be required to provide public access until further notice.
GrantsRest assured, we will continue to process grant payments as usual. If you’re concerned about specific grant conditions, please contact the named people on your grant offer. We're not making site visits at the moment. If you’re worried that you need a site visit in order for a payment to be made, please contact us for help. We will do our utmost to ensure that contractors are paid for work they’ve done, even if it is an interim or partial payment pending a detailed inspection. Read more
Heritage Training Placements 2020Unfortunately there will be no Heritage Training Placement Scheme for this summer.
JobsAll but business critical recruitment is on hold.
National and Local officesAll of our offices are now closed.
Professional Zooarchaeology Group (PZG)The planned summer meeting of the PZG will now take place in the autumn. Read more
Shrewsbury FlaxmillThe site is closed until the end of May and all activities, including building works, are on hold. Although the site is closed, our staff and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings are continuing their work on the project, and will be answering enquires as best they can. Contact [email protected] Read more
Swindon Archive & LibraryThe Public Search Room and Library is closed and services reduced, but you may be able to find what you need online.
TrainingWe have suspended our national programmes of face-to-face and classroom-based Historic Environment Training. Read more

Information for suppliers

If you are a supplier and are worried that your work with us may be affected,  please contact your contract manager for more information and advice.

We know that the impact of these closures will be greater for some suppliers and contractors than others and new ways of working may need to be explored. Please do continue to communicate with your existing contacts at Historic England who will do their best to help as soon as they can.

Our planning advice

It’s likely that planning consents and permissions will take longer than normal, so do please bear with us. We work closely with all local authorities in England and will continue to do our best to provide input into planning cases as quickly as we can.

Listing of buildings, other sites and enquiries

Requests for listing or amendments will take longer than normal but we continue to process cases as best we can.

It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to assess new cases in the usual way but it’s still very important that you tell us about really urgent cases. Where you have good reason to believe that a site is under immediate threat, please email [email protected] and highlight the urgency of the case.

Please be assured that we will respond to all enquiries as quickly as we are able under the circumstances but there is likely to be some delay.

Advice to heritage charities, historic visitor attractions and other organisations

The Heritage Alliance is providing up-to-the-minute advice and information for its members and all those heritage organisations affected by the virus. The Heritage Alliance is the umbrella body that unites over 130 independent heritage organisations in England. Their information is regularly updated so do keep an eye on it.

Advice on cleaning historic surfaces

Historic surfaces can be damaged by some cleaning methods, but there are alternatives which are equally effective.

Read our new advice on cleaning historic surfaces

SHINE support for countryside stewardship funding

We’re working to maintain the service processing applications for stewardship funds.

Find out more

Looking after your home

If you’re the owner of a historic building, please have a look at our Your Home webpages.

If your building needs urgent repair work it may be harder to find specialist contractors who are working at the moment. Our current advice includes links to registers of qualified professionals who may be able to help you.

When it come to maintaining your home you may be tempted to take on some tasks yourself. While there’s much that owners can do to maintain their properties, please take extra care not to put yourself at risk. Always follow our health and safety advice for homeowners.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) runs a technical helpline that may be able to help at certain times of the week. Please bear with them if they are not able to provide their full normal service. 

Advice for business owners?

If you run a business based in or on a historic building we have specific advice on how to look after and make changes to it.

Our grant assistance to owners of historic commercial buildings is focused through our Heritage Action Zone programme. Unfortunately we cannot offer grants to support local businesses outside that scheme but there are a number of other external sources that may be able to help.

Current consultations on our guidance

We’re currently conducting public consultations on emerging planning advice on:

  • Tall Buildings
  • Commercial Renewable Energy and the Historic Environment

We’re also consulting on a new Local Authority Strategic Framework (LASF)

We’ve already extended the consultation deadline for the renewable energy document by an extra month and will consider extending the date for the Tall Buildings document and LASF if necessary. Please use the formal response channels referred to in those documents if you need more time to respond.

Where there are live Government consultations affecting heritage (many of which are included in Historic England’s monthly Planning Bulletin) and more time is needed for heritage organisations to respond, we will ask for extensions. It’s helpful if you let us know if you’re concerned about your organisation’s ability to respond.

Heritage crime

Unfortunately, a very few people may take advantage of these circumstances to commit crime that affects heritage. If you're concerned about crime or anti-social behaviour affecting historic sites please find out what can be done to prevent and report crime.

Churches and other places of worship

With normal patterns of worship interrupted for the short term, it's really important that buildings are regularly monitored to keep them secure and that the building’s ongoing maintenance continues. The security of places of worship can be a concern if fewer people are visiting them. Our advice on preventing heritage crime may be a useful resource. The Historic Religious Buildings Alliance (HRBA) has an online help and advice resource. The Church of England has published a guidance note aimed at providing practical steps involved in closing church buildings: Securing and caring for your church buildings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our national training programmes

This affects our face-to-face and classroom based courses only. It’ll help to protect the health of our speakers, the delegates and the people who work at event venues. We’ll reschedule as many events as possible for later in the year and where appropriate we’ll provide online training as an alternative. Please see our online training webpages for information.

Catch up with our guidance and online training resources

Historic England produces a very wide range of guidance and training. If you’re taking some time to catch up on your professional development, you could:

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