IHBC Yearbook 2013

R E V I E W 27 TRAINING FOR COMMUNITIES AND PROFESSIONALS DAVE CHETWYN Dave Chetwyn MA MRTPI IHBC FInstLM is the managing director of Urban Vision Enterprise CIC (a community interest company). He has worked in planning and regeneration for nearly 25 years. His other roles include chair of the Historic Towns Forum, vice chair of the National Planning Forum and planning chair with Civic Voice. He is also planning adviser to Locality and heritage specialist for Crossrail, Thames Tunnels Section. He is a former chair of the IHBC. His article explores the changing relationship between community organisations and heritage assets, and the training initiatives that can help local people take the lead in neighbourhood planning. in borrowing, and the need for better transport infrastructure. All of these have a significant impact on the heritage sector. The IHBC’s professional competences have always recognised that heritage needs to be considered in its wider context. This is why the competences take in concerns like economics and design. This awareness of context is increasingly important in the face of current challenges. THE COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY SECTOR In response to some of these changes, the community and voluntary sector is experiencing something of a paradigm shift. Loss of core public funding has meant that local community organisations have had to reinvent themselves and develop incomegenerating business models. This has been traumatic but it has also triggered creative and entrepreneurial responses. Taking on assets to generate income is one response. Urban Vision Enterprise (see Further Information) is one organisation which has made the shift from core funding to income generation. The loss of a quarter of a million pounds of core funding from Urban Vision North Sta"ordshire, a local architecture and built environment centre, led to the establishment of Urban Vision Enterprise CIC in July #$%%. The CIC operates nationally and specialises in planning and regeneration. It focusses on community engagement, neighbourhood planning, historic environment conservation, urban design, organisational development and training. Urban Vision Enterprise now funds Urban Vision North Sta"ordshire and develops and runs its programme. Responding to change requires new skills for those involved in planning and conservation, including heritage professionals and active community volunteers. This need for training and capacity building is at the heart of Urban Vision Enterprise’s approach. Training programmes have targeted planners, architects, barristers, surveyors, councillors, heritage professionals, urban designers, community groups and civic societies. For professionals working in conservation the ongoing challenge is to reconcile the conservation of historic buildings and environments with the rapidly changing demands of those who own and use them. Those who take on heritage assets are more often motivated by utility value and investment value. An understanding of this is at the heart of successful conservation professional practice, which is about finding viable solutions. RESPONDING TO CHANGE The wider contexts in which conservation professionals operate are constantly changing. Recent years have seen large spending cuts, loss of design and conservation skills in local government, the enactment of the Localism Act (including neighbourhood planning), the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework and fundamental changes to the structure of local government. The abolition of the regional development agencies in particular has seen the loss of hundreds of millions of pounds of funding for heritage projects each year. At the same time, we face serious challenges such as climate change, energy security issues, di!culties A Locality/Eden Project planning camp held in February 2012