Historic England and Civic Voice in dialogue about Blue Plaques!

Over the past four weeks, several civic societies have expressed their concerns to Historic England regarding the recently reintroduced Blue Plaque initiative. Often at the forefront of recognising local historical figures and their contributions, civic societies feel that the new national scheme may ignore/not acknowledge the longstanding efforts of local volunteers and communities.

Historic England's decision to reintroduce the Blue Plaque initiative, albeit with separate criteria and processes, raised eyebrows among civic societies. Many of these societies have been actively commemorating local historical figures for years, and they believe their work should be highlighted and integrated into the national effort.

However, amidst these concerns, civic societies will be pleased that communication has been ongoing with Historic England. As many of you will know, Ian Harvey is a representative on Historic England's prestigious Place Panel, so he has used his position to encourage a dialogue. Discussions are underway regarding an upcoming event. This event will serve as a platform for constructive dialogue, allowing both parties to address the implications of the national scheme on local initiatives and find common ground to celebrate the rich heritage of different areas across the country.

While tensions exist, we hope there is an opportunity for Historic England and the civic movement to work together to ensure that the Blue Plaque (or whatever colour!) initiative effectively honours the nation's history while respecting the invaluable contributions of local schemes.

We will be in touch when we have confirmed the date.