Historic England recently commissioned Public First to undertake a research exercise to test public opinion in priority areas for levelling up on the role of historic buildings, industrial heritage, and historic parks in fostering civic pride. This was based on six focus groups in the following areas – Darlington, Bury, Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Ashington, and Stoke-on-Trent.
Amongst the summary findings it found industrial heritage (meaning the legacy of the workplaces of peoples forebears) is central to local pride in place, whereas buildings themselves are only part of the story. The way that industrial heritage connects to local pride is also about local story-telling and family history and folklore, connecting with the work that their children’s grandparents and great grandparents did.
The report and its findings will be interest to all those wishing to know more about how the public value our industrial heritage. The survey results can be found here: – https://historicengland.org.uk/research/current/social-and-economic-research/heritage-civic-pride/.