England’s industrial past created the modern world. This heritage is a key part of our national story, and continues to make a major contribution to the life, economy, and identity of many communities.
The survival of this extraordinary legacy relies on the volunteers, charitable trusts, local authorities, private owners, and commercial organisations who run and manage our industrial heritage sites. The tough management task everyone faces includes delivering appropriate conservation, complex repair and maintenance, public engagement and interpretation, managing the threats of climate change, and health and safety compliance. At the same time, traditional sources of public funding and visitor income are declining, and volunteer support can seem harder to renew and sustain.
The good news is that there is expertise out there to help with these issues. Many local and national organisations provide relevant training and support, there are plenty of success stories to learn from, and bodies including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England are placing increasing emphasis on industrial heritage.
There are no magic wands to wave, but by making the best use of resources such as the Industrial Heritage Support Officer, or the Industrial Heritage Networks, your industrial heritage site or organisation can have a more secure future.