FAME is a member of the Heritage Alliance and would like to pass along this communication from them to our members:


Dear members,

We hope you are keeping safe and well. A big thank you to those of you who have fed in specific evidence this week for us on both the DCMS’s questions on social distancing (and the varying benefits of 1m vs 1.5 or 2m) and the jeopardy certain sub sectors are facing at present. At the meeting of the Heritage Working group this afternoon with the Minister Nigel Huddleston, I raised various examples of where a 1m rule would really improve the viability of some operations, improving capacity and ability to earn income as well as allow certain activities that would otherwise be very challenging such as running steam trains and travelling to archaeological sites.

Following on from the cases I raised last week around the mobile heritage sector, today I focussed on archaeology (professional, local authority and community), religious buildings and conservation. Your evidence was described as sobering and really helps us make the case for interventions. We have attached to this email a summary of some of the key areas we have advocating on where positive results have emerged. This demonstrates the impact we can have as a broad and collective voice for the independent sector.

It was helpful to hear from Emma Squire, Culture Director, this week on some areas they will be continuing to look for evidence from us on. These include:

    • They would welcome evidence and input on where insurance is proving challenging and blocking organisations from getting help;
    • Commercial rent;
    • Ideas for regulatory easements;
    • Non pharmaceutical interventions e.g. The examples I mentioned on economic impacts relating to social distancing;

She noted that she is aware there is a lot in the press on the arts and museums, and she wants to reassure us that any package DCMS will be pressing for from the Treasury will be truly aimed at culture and heritage in the round, including skilled craftspeople. They want to continue to understand from us where interventions are needed where certain cliff edges might hit for various parts of our membership. With this in mind, please do keep sending your concerns to us, your information shapes our work and informs the priorities we raise: policy@theheritagealliance.org.uk

Other areas to keep an eye on include:

  • Guidance on places of worship will be published imminently (we understand tonight or tomorrow) ahead of churches being able to open for private prayer on 15th June. More on the MHCLG taskforce here.
  • We don’t yet have a date for the heritage specific guidance we have been working on with Historic England (leading) and DCMS, alongside visitor attraction and tourism guidance but again we expect to hear more on the publication date soon;
  • Following some sustained lobbying by Historic Houses at the weekly meetings, DCMS confirmed today that BEIS will be taking responsibility for issues around weddings.

We also heard some positive news from the National Trust and Historic Houses of where successful re-openings are beginning and how they are picking up new visitors and seeing much public joy at being able to visit. Families are using their sites for emotional and socially safe reunions. We see the power of heritage for wellbeing and community in cases such as these. Those reopening are sharing their stories with other sites who are further behind in the journey. At the Alliance we are also very keen to hear your lessons learned and positive stories from around the sector where return to projects, workplaces and opening of sites has been managed.

We have also this afternoon sent a letter to DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden (attached), setting out some of our current key asks and some concerns as we move out of the initial emergency stage of Government intervention and look to build recovery. We will also be writing to the Treasury shortly.

We will be running a series of bespoke and free legal roundtables for our members with our legal Partner Bates Wells. The first of these (hopefully next Wednesday PM) will be focussed on the changes to the furlough scheme and the new flexibilities. Delphine will be in touch shortly with details of how to book on. We know how useful this will be for some of our member organisations (and for your own members where relevant) so please do join in.

Latest government updates

  • Last night, the Prime Minister announced that Zoos, drive-in cinemas, and non-essential retail shops can reopen to the public from Monday. Zoos will have to keep their indoor enclosures, such as reptile houses, closed.
  • A new “support bubble” can now be made between a single-parent household and another household. This allows those living alone (or with only a child under 18) to join with another household. Further information here.
  • An FAQ page has been added to guidance to help local authorities and partners deliver activities supported through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

Sending Forms to Companies House

  • Companies House has introduced a temporary service that allows businesses to upload documents that previously had to be sent in. This includes documents such as:
    • Applying for a rectification by the registrar of companies
    • Correcting a director’s date of birth which was incorrectly stated on incorporation
    • Applying for rectification of a change of registered address
    • Objecting to a request to rectify the register
    • Applying to remove material about a director
    • Applying to change a company’s disputed registered office address
  • Further details can be found here.

Latest BVA-BDRC report

  • BVA-BDRC have released their latest report on consumer sentiment.
  • The full report can be found here.

Guidance on Boat Use

  • The Government has produced more detailed guidance for a wide range of boat use – both coastal and inland This covers everything from marinas, boat hire, tour boats and canoe hire. The main points are:
    • Canoes and paddle craft hire firms can operate but must clean equipment and practice social distancing;
    • Self-drive boats or bareboat charter businesses can open but only for people using the boats for day-trips – so overnight use of canal boats and cruising yachts is still prohibited;
    • Tourist and trip boat operators must remain closed;
    • Marinas may open to allow people to visit and move their boats;
    • Private boat owners cannot stay overnight on their boat unless the boat is their primary residence.
  • The full guidance can be found here.

BEIS Round Tables on economic recovery

  • As reported a few days ago, Alok Sharma has announced that he’s setting up five round tables to consider the measures needed to support the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19. The round tables are: The future of industry; Green Recovery; Backing new businesses; Increasing opportunity; and, How to win and retain more high value internationally mobile investment for the UK.
  • If you would like to provide input on these areas, you can do so by email to Economic.Recovery@beis.gov.uk The deadline for input is Wednesday 17 June.

Impact of Coronavirus on Employment

  • The ONS has released new statistics on the impact of Coronavirus on the UK workforce which shows that the tourism and hospitality businesses have been among the most affected sectors of the economy. The main points are:
    • The total number of employers that made at least one CJRS claim to 31 May 2020 is 1.07 million
    • 8.7 million employments have been supported through the scheme under claims made until 31 May, with these claims totalling £17.5 billion
    • 6,300 large employers (those with 250 or more employees) have furloughed around 2.5 million employments.
    • Accommodation and food services employers have furloughed 1.4 million employments and claimed £2.6 billion in support under the CJRS.
  • The full report can be found here.

We also continue to update our Guidance Hub and Funding Hub, which provide the latest information and funding sources to support you and your organisation through COVID-19.