Lyme Park

Survey finds heritage workers fear for the future

Patrick Steel, 14.05.2018
Sector concerned over cuts, Brexit and decline in professional standards
A report by the trade union Prospect, entitled A Road To Ruins? Funding Cuts Threaten UK Heritage, has found that there are serious concerns over the future of the sector due to funding cuts, Brexit and a decline in professional standards.

The report surveyed over 1,000 heritage workers at organisations including the National Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Tate, British Museum and Historic England.

82% of respondents believe funding cuts are having a serious, negative impact on their organisations, which is likely to cause permanent damage to the UK’s heritage sector.

More than 75% of respondents said they were either concerned or very concerned about the impact of Brexit. And nearly 80% were concerned or very concerned about a potential loss of income because of European funding ending.

42% were concerned by a decline in professional standards, and hundreds of respondents reported reduced staffing levels and low morale from over-stretched staff.

“Prospect members are dedicated and passionate about the work they do,” said Alan Leighton, Prospect’s national secretary.

“The increase in workload as a result of funding cuts across the sector has led to an increase in existing staff highlighting stress and experience of being over-worked.

“The heritage sector doesn’t just contribute £16.4bn to the UK economy, it also provides invaluable enjoyment and education to the community. If the government are going to continue to reap the rewards from the heritage sector, they must start investing today.”

Separate research by FWD Research on behalf of the insurance company Ecclesiastical, published earlier this month, found that out of 155 heritage property owners, 42% were worried about the current shortage of skills in the UK, and 52% were concerned about the long-term impact and availability of skilled tradespeople in ten years’ time.


The article originally stated that Scottish National Heritage was surveyed. This has been corrected to Scottish Natural Heritage.


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18.05.2018, 08:54
Feel sorry for the journalist, you have to be a genius to keep up with the ever changing names of our national organisations and their many variations.

National Resources Wales
Scottish Natural Heritage
Natural England
- they all do the same job really but they are very keen to remind you that they aren't like the others, so choose a different formula to devise their names with grammar usually the first victim when the committee sits down to discuss what the name will be.
15.05.2018, 21:17
Look guys, I don't want to be petty but who on earth are "Scottish National Heritage"
Do you mean
Historic Environment Scotland
National Trust for Scotland
Scottish Natural Heritage
Scottish Museums Federation
National Museums Scotland
Museums Galleries Scotland?

Yes, I am being petty but if the MA/MJ can't get the names of organisations right, why are they even bothering?
Patrick Steel
Website Editor, Museums Association
16.05.2018, 10:59
Hi Jason - thanks for spotting this. It should of course have been Scottish Natural Heritage. We've updated the article now to reflect this. All best wishes, Patrick