English Heritage's new forward-looking approach to conservation encourages people to think of more imaginative ways of rescuing Buildings At Risk, and persuades them to get help from English Heritage at very early stages. Early advice from English Heritage helped to save 86% of the Buildings At Risk removed from the national Register this year. The English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register is a list of the nation's most vulnerable Grade l and Grade ll* buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Now in its ninth year, it is a measure of what the nation could lose if no one can come up with ways of saving them.
'These are internationally important buildings that are fascinating and inspirational as well as being well-loved by their local communities. This year, 94 important buildings have been saved but 68 new ones have just been added, and many difficult cases stay on year after year. It's English Heritage's modern approach that is stimulating new ideas to save some of the most difficult Buildings At Risk from languishing on the Register.'
In London, English Heritage provided early conservation advice and gave£250,000 in grants for repairs for the iconic Grade ll* listed Roundhouse theatre that has come off the Register this year. The building has re-opened to reveal the restoration which has spectacularly retained its historic core. A striking new modern wing has transformed the space into an arts venue for the local community.
In Liverpool, English Heritage gave advice to the local authority on finding a future for The Albany, one of the earliest large-scale office buildings in the country. The Grade ll* listed building has been saved from many years of decay and has been transformed into an eye-catching residential complex that combines the building's historic character with contemporary design.
Roly Keating, Controller, BBC Two, welcomed English Heritage's continued commitment to find new uses for buildings at risk, a theme which will be echoed in the forthcoming series, Restoration Village. Speaking at the launch, he said: 'We are delighted that Restoration Village will air this summer, a real mark of the lasting impact that series one and two of Restoration had on the nation. In contrast to the previous two series, we are devoting this show to the plight of rural buildings at risk and the communities who are passionately committed to ensuring that their precious local heritage has a future'.
Other headline figures from the Register include:
* English Heritage offered grant aid towards 68 buildings at risk, totalling£4.9m
* 40.5% of entries have now been removed from the very first Register compiled in 1999
* Progress is being made to securing the future of 30% of buildings on this year's Register has been secured - a figure which has increased steadily since the baseline 1999 Register figure of 25%