England’s heritage worth £31bn to economy

England’s built heritage is worth £31bn to the economy and supports over 464,000 jobs, according to research published by Historic England.

The research is included in a new report, on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum, and shows the value of heritage to England’s economy.

According to the report, for every £1 spent on England’s heritage, an additional £1.21 is supported in the wider economy of England thanks to the supply chains of the heritage sector and due to the expenditure of their employees.

The report highlights that the on-going need to repair, maintain and restore historic buildings creates strong dependencies between the heritage, construction and development sectors when specialist skills are needed. According to the report, In 2018, heritage-related construction activities generated £7.1 billion in gross value added (GVA) in England employing over 100,000 people.

Heritage is also a key tourism driver. In 2018, £17bn was spent on heritage-related visits and trips in England by 218.4 million visitors.

However, the report highlighted a growing skills gap in the sector. It is estimated that 11% of firms in the heritage sector have a skills gap and 6% of firms had at least one skills shortage vacancy.

Adala Leeson, head of social-economic analysis and evaluation at Historic England said: ‘We are concerned about skills gaps and skills shortages in the heritage sector because they create a negative impact on wages, productivity and economic growth.

‘The key way to address this is through in-work training and we are leading the sector on the development of early-career support through apprenticeships.

‘Six new apprenticeship standards have been developed covering entry-level to postgraduate level, and in 2019 we launched a brand new programme providing 11 heritage apprenticeship opportunities in our own organisation. We also provide on-going career support through our continuing professional development training programmes.’

Read the full report

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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