Forward - Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay

! FOREWORD AS MINISTER for Arts and Heritage, I am proud to champion the vital role that heritage can play in transforming places and communities. Travelling across the country, I have seen at first hand the profound and immediate impact that conserving our historic buildings and gardens can have in regenerating places, both urban and rural. Putting culture and heritage at the heart of the community creates great places to live, work and visit. Championing heritage brings joy, improves the quality of life, gives people a sense of pride in their area and its history, brings people together and provokes curiosity about our past. The government, our national agencies, local authorities and the brilliant people who work and volunteer in the sector all play a role in helping to support and develop our nation’s heritage. The government warmly appreciates the expertise of heritage bodies such as the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and welcomes their dedication and invaluable contribution to this important issue. High streets lie at the heart of our communities and must be protected; an issue thrown into relief when we were cut o! from them during the dark months of the pandemic. The government is supporting our high streets through funding schemes such as Historic England’s £"# million High Street Heritage Action Zones and the £$# million Transforming Places Through Heritage programme delivered through the Architectural Heritage Fund. Through schemes such as these, we are breathing life back into our high streets and the historic buildings which adorn them. The Heritage Action Zones are supporting the economic growth and regeneration of %& towns across England by improving their physical and economic condition, as well as increasing community and investor confidence, social cohesion and pride in place. Their work is amplified by a £& million cultural programme, delivered by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which brings local residents and arts organisations together to deliver community-led cultural activities on our high streets. As well as being a source of beauty and national pride, our heritage is an important part of building a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future. Key to this is ensuring that the right balance is struck between achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions and protecting our heritage. The UK has one of the oldest building stocks in Europe. In order to reach our ambitious net zero goals, it is vital that we keep these buildings in use to contain their embedded carbon dioxide and make them energy e'cient. But this is not just about buildings. It is about people too. By sensitively retrofitting our historic buildings, we not only lower our energy consumption, we also reduce the energy bills of millions of people each month. I want to support homeowners who play such a valued part as custodians of our heritage. The IHBC Yearbook highlights the importance of working together to resolve these important issues. By doing so, we can fulfil our shared responsibility to protect our historic environment for the benefit of generations to come. Thank you for all that you do to help discharge it. Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Minister for Arts and Heritage