C AT H E D R A L COMMU N C I AT I O N S C E L E B R AT I N G T W E N T Y F I V E Y E A R S O F T H E B U I L D I N G CO N S E R VAT I O N D I R E C TO R Y 1 9 9 3 – 2 0 1 8 174 BUILDING PRESERVATION TRUSTS Funding and support JEREMY FENN A BUILDING PRESERVATION trust (BPT) can be defined as a not-for-profit organisation whose main aims include the preservation and regeneration of historic buildings. The majority are rooted in their local communities and while some cover particular areas, others specialise in particular types of building. With the support of over 100,000 members in the UK, BPTs are uniquely placed to improve historic environments, breathing new life into derelict buildings, tackling ambitious projects that no one else will touch and, where necessary, taking on the role of community regeneration agencies. In this way, BPTs have saved over 1,000 buildings, raised over £1 billion of funding and delivered important social, economic and environmental benefits to communities across the UK. BPTs are able to address market failure and operate where the private sector cannot, often in partnership with public sector agencies and private sector organisations. The dual constitution of BPTs as registered charities and companies limited by guarantee allows for any surpluses that are created from charitable investment to be rolled over to support future projects, the ‘revolving fund’ model. Most BPTs are small local organisations, but they are supported by a national umbrella body, the Heritage Trust Network (HTN), which provides specialist expertise and enables peer-to-peer support to help members develop and change to meet best practice. Evolving out of the UK Association of Preservation Trusts (see below) in 2016 with expanded governance and staffing, HTN has extended its membership to individuals and corporates. It has also increased its influence to lobby government and to comment on policy with strategic partners across the UK through the Heritage Alliance. As public sector bodies are reduced or redefined and public assets are increasingly transferred to the community, the need for effective BPTs grows ever greater. Funding will always be challenging, and projects need patience, but BPTs now have access to best practice guidance and support to ensure they remain essential as the last line of defence for heritage at risk. In the 1960s insensitive development was harming the character and distinctiveness of historic European cities still recovering from the ravages of war. Modern interventions, however well intentioned, caused the loss of much medieval townscape and architectural detail. The result was often bland, uniform development, built quickly and cheaply to meet the needs of a rising population with reduced resources. The growing conservation movement responded with a decade of measures that laid the foundations of the movement today, starting with the establishment of conservation areas in 1967. A 1969 survey by the Civic Trust identified 21 trusts then in existence. In 1971 it studied the successes and weaknesses of existing trusts and revolving funds to analyse what worked well and to establish whether this concept could be expanded. It put together a simple handbook of advice for those willing to start trusts, including a model form of constitution and articles of association. In May 1972 the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers established the first European Architectural Heritage Year to: • awaken European people’s interest in their common architectural heritage • protect and enhance buildings and areas of architectural interest Repointing and brickwork repairs are carried out from mobile working platforms at the early 19th-century Corbridge bottle kilns site in Northumberland. Commissioned by Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust, the project aims to remove these scheduled monuments from the Heritage At Risk Register.