The future of our past — consultation launched

Friday 19 July 2013

The future of our past - consultation launched

The future of our past - consultation launched

The Welsh Government’s Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, visited Blaenavon Ironworks on 18 July 2013 to launch, The future of our past, the consultation on proposals for the first legislation on the historic environment that will be specific to Wales.

Wales's heritage attracts large numbers of visitors and employs over 30,000 people, contributing £1.8billion to the Welsh economy every year. However, the historic environment is fragile and the significance of historic buildings and archaeological sites can be lost through carelessness, neglect or unsympathetic change.

The Heritage Bill and associated measures will aim to modernise, streamline and simplify controls while making protection more effective where it is needed.

The consultation includes proposals that may affect many areas of our historic environment. They include:

  • the simplification of the listed building process by giving clarity on what works require consent;
  • the introduction of more effective measures to protect our ancient monuments and historic buildings from unauthorised works and ensure that fines act as an effective deterrent;
  • the introduction of greater transparency when deciding which historic sites need protection, giving owners a clear voice;
  • the introduction of agreements that allow positive long-term management of historic buildings and monuments whilst reducing bureaucracy; and
  • the consideration of options for the merger of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales with Cadw.

Speaking before the launch the Minister said:

'The historic environment is an important contributor to local distinctiveness.

'It’s central to our tourism offer with heritage being one of the top reasons people give for visiting Wales.

'Moreover, the historic environment can contribute to life-long learning, through formal education and informal learning and by developing skills and confidence through active participation. It also plays a role in the fight against poverty, making an important contribution to regeneration, renewed community confidence and inward investment.

'This consultation includes proposals for the first ever heritage legislation specifically for Wales, which will guide the sector for years to come.

'The historic environment belongs to us all so I would urge people to respond to this consultation and get involved.'

The consultation document is now available as a pdf from the consultation pages of the Welsh Government website. You will also find a response form there that you can save to your computer and complete at your leisure.

The three-month consultation will close on 11 October 2013, so please be sure to submit your response before that date. Full details on how to respond are available in the consultation document and on the response form.

A consultation response report will be published later in the year.

If you have any questions about the consultation, please email cadwheritagebill@wales.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 01443 336090/1.