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EU Funding of Historic Environment in England and Scotland Tops £486 million

Two reports have been published that detail the amount of financial support the EU has provided to heritage in England and Scotland between 2007-2016

A report compiled by Euclid for Historic England concluded that heritage focused or related projects received a minimum of £450 million in EU funding in the period from 2007-2016, with Euclid commenting that many factors point to this figure being an under-estimate. Another report by Euclid on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland estimates that at least £36.8 million has been awarded to over 280 historic environment projects in Scotland over the last decade.

These two figures combined means that a conservative estimate of heritage funding awarded to England and Scotland by the EU over the last ten years is almost £490 million. This is, of course, without taking into account the added financial gain to heritage through EU tourism, free trade and freedom of movement of labour.   

Among the funding received is:

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) which included

  • £46.23 million for Historical & archaeological feature protection
  • £31.28 million for the Restoration of historic buildings.

As well as

  • £23.85 million for Scotland from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

These concerns were raised in Icon’s Brexit Statement by CEO Alison Richmond ACR. She wrote in June 2016,

“European funding for research will presumably no longer be available to UK institutions. We may assume that there will be a direct impact on conservation research as well as an indirect impact due to the cross-disciplinary nature of our field, with related disciplines, such as heritage science, art history and archaeology. This will not only affect universities but also museums and other heritage organisations that receive research funding from Europe. European initiatives already underway, such as Horizon 2020 (worth 80bn Euro 2014-2020), may be unaffected, but other subsequent calls for collaborative consortia may exclude UK institutions.” 

These reports highlight the immensely valuable financial contribution to heritage that the EU makes within Britain. Going forward, Icon is committed to working for funding for our heritage.

It is essential that a strong case is made for continued support within conservation and cultural heritage research. Icon will seek to work with other partners within the cultural sector to ensure that we have a strong voice as the decisions that affect future funding are made.Alison Richmond ACR, CEO of Icon

Click here for the full report for England

Click here for the full report for Scotland

Lead Image: EU Flags 79221_1920; Public Domain


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