In addition to research, Heritage Counts analyses a series of indicators which provide an insight into the state of the historic environment.
The evidence collected is used by historic environment professionals to develop policies and priorities and to demonstrate the importance of the historic environment.
Data is organised according to the five strategic priorities of Heritage 2020 below. It is accompanied by easy-to-use statistics in Excel spreadsheets. These enable year-on-year changes in the historic environment to be tracked at national, regional and, wherever possible, local level:
Discovery, identification and understanding: Provides indicators on the scale and scope of the historic environment and assets
Constructive conservation and sustainable management: Includes indicators on the overall condition of the historic environment with indicators from the Heritage at Risk programme and data on managing the historic environment including planning statistics
Public engagement: Presents data on participation in heritage, heritage membership and volunteering in the sector
Capacity building: Indicators of heritage investments from private, public and voluntary sectors as well as the skills and capacity of the sector
Helping things to happen: Includes indicators of the importance of guardianship
Key indicator findings for 2015
- Listed building consents are an increasing proportion of all planning applications submitted to planning authorities. The number of planning applications submitted to planning authorities declined sharply during the recession. While listed building consents also declined in this period, it was at a considerably slower pace. The latest planning statistics show that unlike other planning applications which have stabilised at substantially lower levels than their 2004/05 peak, the numbers of listed building consent applications are now growing.
- Local Authority capacity remains low. Despite a marginal increase in the number of Local Authority staff in the historic environment in the last year, employment remains substantially below 2006 levels – historic environment staff numbers have declined by 31% since 2006.
- Historic properties continue to attract large numbers of visitors. In the past year the number of visits to historic properties increased by 3% and in 2014 there were an estimated 66.7 million visits to historic properties. This is a 36% increase in heritage visits from 1989 when the visitor data was first collected.
- Heritage is becoming more inclusive. As reported in last year’s Heritage Counts, participation in heritage by key equalities groups is growing well above the national average.
- Listed building owners are actively engaged in the repair and maintenance of their properties. Evidence from the 2015 Listed Building Owners Survey indicates that two thirds of owners clear gutters once or more each year and 71% paint or repair windows and doors at least every 5 years.