National Blue Plaques Scheme
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced a national blue plaques scheme to celebrate people throughout history who made an important and positive contribution to human welfare or happiness across England.
The scheme, which will be developed and led by Historic England, will recognise that every place has a unique story to tell, and help to showcase the importance of heritage everywhere.
London’s blue plaques are world-renowned. For over 150 years they have helped to celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of our capital city and the people who have passed through it
But people everywhere should be able to celebrate the figures who have shaped their community – which is why we are seeking to extend this opportunity across the country, to allow people and buildings from anywhere in England to be nominated.
I encourage people to get thinking about who has helped to define their community and makes them proud of where they live so that their impact on their home area, as well as the wider world, can be recognised and celebrated.
Recent polling has revealed that 84% of people in England think it is important that people pass on stories of local history1, and place-marking initiatives such as the blue plaques scheme can increase levels of civic pride and positive connections to place2, and encourage a sense of belonging.2,3
The national blue plaques project recognises the value and success of the London scheme, which will continue to be led by English Heritage, as well as the numerous local schemes across the country. Historic England will work together with English Heritage, local partners, and current plaque schemes as the national programme is developed and rolled out.
Standing in a historic place and finding a blue plaque, or historical place marker, brings us face to face with our shared history. In developing a national blue plaques scheme that will celebrate heritage across England, we want to help people feel a stronger connection to the history all around us and shine a light on the people and places of the past which have made us who we are.
Working with local partners we will build on the value and success of the London scheme led by English Heritage and the many other schemes that exist in communities across the country.
1. YouGov survey with 2,000 GB Adults, undertaken 21 to 24 April 2023.
2. Institute for Community Research and Development with Arts Connect and Historic England (2023) Young People’s Engagements with Heritage: Tackling Inequality & Other Opportunities for Public Policy. Available at: Young-People-and-Heritage_Final-Report.pdf (artsconnect.co.uk) [Accessed 17 August 2023]
3. Historic England (2022) Learning about Local Heritage: A study of the impact of the Heritage Schools programme. Available at: Learning about Local Heritage: Impact Study of Heritage Schools Programme (historicengland.org.uk) [Accessed 25 March 2023]