The Bristol Heritage Forum is an independent body set up to champion the value of Bristol's built heritage. It is a network for local organizations to share and debate best practice, to facilitate collaboration, and to co-ordinate heritage initiatives.
In February 2016 the Bristol Heritage Forum was established as an independent body, but one which will work closely with both Historic England and the City Council. The Bristol Civic Society has taken the lead in its co-ordination. Currently the Forum's executives include Bristol Civic Society, Bristol City Council, Churches Conservation Trust, Historic England, JLL and the Neighborhood Planning Network.
Who is it for?
The Forum is for all organisations and individuals involved in heritage activities. It is for those who have an interest in protecting Conservation Areas, safeguarding historic buildings and structures, and generally wishing to get involved in conservation in their neighbourhoods.
Why a Heritage Forum?
There is a wealth of evidence that heritage is of key importance to visitors, businesses and residents right across the country. Bristol has a tremendous built heritage with over one third of the City covered by Conservation Areas, with more than 4,000 Listed Buildings, and with many historic parks and gardens. Yet there is ongoing pressure on this heritage from development and transport projects at a time when expert conservation resources are diminishing.
Historic England produces an annual state of the heritage report 'Heritage Counts 2015'. This report provides an invaluable summary of the national and regional context. In addition Bristol City Council has recently produced 'Our Inherited City – Bristol Heritage Framework 2015 – 2018' which proposes establishing a community based heritage forum in Bristol. More details.
Newly established, it is believed that a Heritage Forum will prove to be an invaluable addition to the existing structure and organisations involved in heritage activities of Bristol. It will act as a holistic voice for the city on heritage issues and discussions.
A Heritage Forum is a relatively new idea, although other cities such as Leicester and Nottingham are moving in the same direction. The objectives of the Forum include:
- Promoting the value of heritage.
- Co-ordinating heritage initiatives and facilitating collaboration and partnerships, a veritable 'heritage dating agency'.
- Sharing knowledge and best practice, building community capacity.
Likely work streams will include:
- Helping to find sustainable future uses for Buildings At Risk and other historic buildings.
- Influencing developments and transport projects affecting historic buildings and places.
- Ensuring Bristol’s heritage is cared for in plans, policies and appraisals.
- Helping to deliver training, holding events, publicising best practice in the heritage field, possible heritage awards.
In October 2016 the Bristol Heritage Forum held a very successful inaugural conference on the theme of Bristol's Historic Estates. The next event will be a workshop - on Tuesday 28th March from 5pm at The Pavilion, Harbourside. The purpose of the workshop is to enable attendees to shape the future direction and work of the Forum and to identify what they will contribute to its success
The Forum is open to all, both BCS members and others. If you would like to be kept informed on Bristol's heritage and Forum activity, please join our subscriber list.