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Heritage Manifesto Urges Leaders to Build Sector Skills and Capacity

The Heritage Alliance has published its Manifesto for 2019, ahead of the General Election. The Manifesto sets out the priorities for the heritage sector and its key asks for a future Government, Parliament and other decision makers.

Icon is a member of the Heritage Alliance, which is England’s largest coalition of heritage interests, bringing together more than 140 independent heritage organisations.

The Alliance’s Manifesto sets out 5 key political priorities for the future. It calls on all political parties to:

  • Champion our unique heritage sector on the world stage - maximising opportunities in the event of Brexit, and minimising its challenges for heritage;
  • Maintain and improve the protection for heritage;
  • Promote heritage assets as part of creating vibrant places to live in, and build sector skills and capacity;
  • Reform the tax regime to promote the repair and maintenance of our nation’s irreplaceable heritage assets, whilst tackling climate change;
  • Continue to back Lottery funding for heritage.

Icon welcomes the publication of the Alliance’s Manifesto.

Icon fully agrees that building sector skills and capacity should be a priority for the new government to ensure the sustainability of the cultural heritage sector. A diverse and accessible range of entry routes is fundamental to attracting talent and creating a workforce fully representative of society. The existing labour force will need investment and training to maintain and build on its world-class quality. Icon is committed to embedding the Professional Standards at the heart of training, supporting new entrants into conservation and enabling employers to maximise access to funding to develop the workforce.

We endorse the call for cultural heritage to be championed internationally in recognition of the sector’s role in enhancing the UK’s global reputation, as evidenced in reports such as Icon’s The Golden Age and the Alliance’s International Report. The next government should maintain the exchange of skills, expertise and restoration materials between the UK and EU. The Alliance’s call for an exemption for accredited heritage professionals in any new visa regime would help mitigate the potential harmful effect of restricting access to skilled workers through proposed salary caps.

Icon will continue to work with the Alliance and other partners to advocate on behalf of cultural heritage and to spread the Manifesto’s important messages.

You can read the Manifesto in full here.


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