Protect heritage buildings and places

Protecting the heritage and history of your local area is important to a community. It’s about protecting and conserving memories, cultures and ways of life for future generations.

The heritage assets of a place or community are defined as buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of their heritage interest and value.

There are several ways that the community rights can help safeguard heritage assets for the future:

Local heritage listing

Local heritage listing is a way for a community and a local authority to identify heritage assets that are valued as distinctive elements of the local historic environment.

Local Listing can already afford a modest measure of protection against their removal or adaptation, but having these buildings of importance as an amenity placed on the local register of Assets of Community Value provides an additional statutory safeguard.

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Assets of Community Value

A success nominating of an asset (such as a building, monument, business or green space) as an Asset of Community Value means the asset will appear the local authority’s list of ACVs. The local authority will inform the owner and if the asset ever goes up for sale, the local authority will let the nominating group know and offer them the opportunity to pause the sale for up to six months – known as the moratorium period.

Read more about Assets of Community Value (ACVs).

Community Right to Bid

The moratorium period allows the community to agree a price with the owner and purchase the asset. No one else can purchase the asset in this period. If the community cannot raise the required funds to purchase the asset in the six months, the asset will be sold on the open market.

Read more about Community Right to Bid.

Community Asset Transfer from local authorities

Community ownership and management of heritage assets have many benefits for the asset, the organisation and the community itself. The transfer of assets from local authorities to the community are becoming more common place in the new sphere of shared responsibility in preserving community assets for the future.

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Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood plans provide a good opportunity to develop policies to help conserve heritage, ensure that it remains in productive use, and realise its potential for delivering social and economic benefits and creating and maintaining distinctive and sustainable neighbourhoods.

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Grants available

Historic England offer grants for exploring and protecting heritage in your community:

  • Sharing Heritage: From recording personal memories to conserving wildlife, a Sharing Heritage grant can help you discover and share your local heritage.
  • Our Heritage: An Our Heritage grant can help you protect and share the heritage you care about.
  • Heritage Grants: The Heritage Grants programme is for larger heritage projects of any kind.

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Need specific help?

Locality’s team is highly experienced in community asset transfer between local authorities and community organisations, and can help with this process. You can contact the team via the Contact us email form or via Locality’s website.