Birmingham’s five year Heritage Strategy

City Council will be asked to approve a report on 4 February which outlines Birmingham's heritage strategy for the next five years.

The strategy has been developed by the Heritage Strategy Group, chaired by the Heritage Champion, Cllr Phil Davis, as a partnership document for the city as a whole.

Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said: “Protecting the Past, Informing the Present is an important document which sets out Birmingham's strategy for its heritage for the next five years.  The strategy builds on the many gains made over the last five years, not least those which have enabled us to prioritise projects and lead a co-ordinated approach to bids to  the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

“This new strategy acknowledges the changes to the heritage landscape resulting from the economic crisis and reductions in public funding.  It therefore sets out the need to attract funding and work with partners outside the authority collaboratively to promote the city's heritage tourism assets.  We are asking city council to adopt the partnership strategy and commit to integrating its principles and action into service planning.”

Heritage Champion, Cllr Phil Davis, added: “Protecting the Past, Informing the Present' sets out four aims for partnership working for the next five years - Preservation, Prioritisation, People and Promotion.  I’m grateful to the various groups and individuals who’ve contributed to the new strategy.

“Together we’ve identified 20 actions which will help promote and join up Birmingham’s heritage appeal to residents and visitors. These include, for example, quick promotional wins like joining the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) network.  Longer term, we also have exciting learning and tourism opportunities around the UK 2019 bicentenary celebrations of the life of steam pioneer James Watt.

“Cash is tight but there’s a great deal of co-operation and enthusiasm in the city around the wonderful buildings, collections and stories that Birmingham has. Above all, we need to make our huge contribution to the industrial revolution better known and link that to our modern manufacturing skills in living creative centres like the Jewellery Quarter.”

“Brum helped make the modern world and its rich mix of people celebrates 21st century life. If we tell this story well, visitors and investors will come – not least from rapidly industrialising China and India. This strategy will help us do this.”

The report will be discussed at the City Council meeting, 2pm Tuesday 4 February.

For a full copy see the report here – Birmingham Heritage Strategy download

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For further media information contact Debbie Harrison on 0121 303 4476 / 078801 80385 

Note to Editors

Summary List of 20 Key Actions (extraction from the Birmingham Heritage Strategy, Appendix 3)

1  Ensure heritage is properly considered in planning and development processes.
2  Support the role of the City Council's Heritage Champion and the City Heritage Strategy Group.
3  Highlight and share information on funding issues/opportunities and promote alternative income generation.
4  Support existing partnerships and seek to develop new ones, especially around major anniversaries and other city- wide events.
5  Support and promote transfer of heritage assets where a robust business case is in place.
6  Continue the Heritage Strategy Group project prioritisation process and develop guidelines for prioritisation.
7  Identify potential heritage projects coming forward.
8  Identify sources of match funding which can be used as partnership for HLF applications and for heritage funding in City Districts.
9  Pilot a Birmingham History Week.
10  Integrate heritage more effectively into the citywide model for the cultural engagement of young people.
11  Encourage and support more heritage and community groups to work in partnership to develop Young Roots and other HLF projects.
12  Share best practice in managing, supporting and developing volunteers.
13  Explore integrating heritage into the local arts forums.
14  Encourage each BCC District Committee to appoint a Heritage Champion.
15  Continue to develop Marketing Birmingham website.
16  Link to European Route of industrial Heritage (ERIH) to promote the story of the city's role in the Industrial Revolution and global manufacturing.
17  City and partners to begin long-term national planning for Watt Bicentenary in 2019 as a global promotional opportunity.
18  Explore additional ways of promoting non city-centre heritage attractions and making archive and museum collections more accessible.
19  Invite BIDs to further engage with heritage promotion/marketing.
20  Encourage all citizens to promote the city's heritage using social media.

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