FAME are pleased to present the results of the Heritage Market Survey, 2014, commissioned with CIfA and Historic England, and undertaken by Landward Research. The survey focused on data collected  from commercial organisations (including FAME members) for the end of the financial year 2013/2014 and provides an overview of the structure of the sector, employment numbers and conditions, commercial performance, and levels of confidence going forward. A new updated survey, covering 2014/2015 will be published soon.

The picture for the survey period was mixed. The worst of the recession was over, levels of work and employment were improving and confidence within the sector was at its highest level since the survey began in 2008. However, turnover was only slightly improved, and while there were opportunities to grow margins, healthy profitability for most employers was still hard to come by. There was, perhaps, an over-reliance on the housing and energy sectors, but this reflects the wider construction market. The majority of respondents predicted continued improvement and growth into 2015, and again, unsurprisingly, this reflected broader levels of confidence in the UK economy at the time. But the survey identified a number of challenges, notably the difficulty in recruiting sufficient fieldwork staff. Many are responding to this by raising wages and putting in place more structured training.

The value of the survey lies not so much in the historic data, but in how it can help our member organisations plan for a successful future and it will be very interesting to compare results with the 2015 survey when these are available. Over the coming weeks we will be drawing out some of the themes in the surveys to open up discussions around how FAME can support its members in this growing market.

The full report can be downloaded from HERE and is available in the members library.

Nick Shepherd