Impact of Heritage Sector Local Authority Funding Cuts in South West England

By Fran Haswell-Walls, Tim Dixon, Chris Barlow

This independent study provides important new information about how people feel about local authority heritage services in the South West. It shows good user satisfaction overall, but highlights some issues which users perceive to be linked to recent cuts to heritage services.

The first study of its kind asked people who had used a local authority heritage service since January 2014 about their experiences, to gain an insight into the impact new ways of delivering those services in the era of austerity are having on customers.

On the whole, service users have positive views of historic environment services, and value skills and expertise, timely delivery, and value for money. However, they also report concerns about delays to projects, poor access to experienced and specialist staff, the lack of staff time available to them, and poor online guidance and resources relating to heritage management.

This research was carried out by ERS on behalf of Historic England. It was commissioned by the South West Historic Environment Forum and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (now National Lottery Heritage Fund) South West.


  • Headline Findings
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Study Context
  • 3. Study Methodology
    Overall Approach
    Qualitative Interviews
  • 4. Study Findings
    Survey Respondent Profile
    Services Used
    Service Experiences
    Qualitative Responses
  • 5. Conclusions
  • Appendix 1: South West Historic Environment Forum Membership

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 25


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