In October 2020 MHCLG announced a call for expressions of interest in a new Local Heritage List campaign, providing £700,000 funding for the development of new and updated lists in 10 English county areas. The funding is intended to support projects which involve a county-wide approach to developing local lists. Detailed guidance explains that successful projects should be innovative, digital, publicly available, and involve the local community in defining criteria and the list itself. Projects should provide a means of maintaining local lists after their initial creation, and the local list information should be added to the local Historic Environment Record (HER). See below for an update about the outcomes of the call for expressions of interest.
The Exegesis Local Heritage List Platform (LHLP) is an innovative, sustainable cloud-based digital solution that delivers these objectives, saving each project from having to design and build their own technical solutions.
The LHLP is being developed by Exegesis SDM Ltd to meet the requirements of projects funded by the Local Heritage List campaign, on the basis that several successful bids will adopt the platform. We are working in close collaboration with representatives of several projects submitting expressions of interest. Once established, the LHLP will also then be available to Councils that are not included in the current funded campaign.
The LHLP will provide each County/project with its own dedicated, branded website for the Local Heritage List, e.g. https://local-heritage-list.org.uk/borsetshire (that's not a real site!). The County websites will be cloud-hosted in our UK data centre, with enterprise-level security and backups, and will meet accessibility and GDPR requirements.
The detailed functionality of the LHLP for different types of users is listed below.
For members of the local interested community and all public users
- See clear information about the Local Heritage List, the criteria, and the opportunities to become involved.
- See the existing Local Heritage List and any candidate sites. Find these in an interactive map and/or searchable list view.
- See the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) sites in the interactive map, to understand what is already protected by those designations.
- See an overall index map of County Local Heritage List projects with links to their websites.
- Opportunity to register to engage, learn, discuss, submit new candidate sites for consideration, and comment on candidate sites. My signing up might be linked to being given some practical training in identifying and recording heritage assets.
For registered public users
Once signed up! In addition to the above,
- Create new candidate sites, including map location where possible, justification and fit with criteria; add supporting images and documents.
- Comment on other candidate sites.
- Engage in discussions in a Forum (optional per County).
- See "my candidate sites" in a simple dashboard, also listing previously submitted sites by status.
- See feedback from LPA/project staff on submitted candidates.
- Receive notifications about decisions and feedback.
For project staff and/or LPA Conservation Officer(s)
All of the above, plus:
- Simple start-up "on-boarding" process including training, site configuration, branding, and publishing existing material.
- Capability to upload existing Local Heritage List entries and/or candidate sites to kick start the process.
- A place to publish Local Heritage List criteria, information about engagement opportunities, training, events, news and successes.
- An (optional) forum for discussion of local priorities, criteria, cases, and for Q & A.
- A platform for creating and updating the Local Heritage List during the funded project period and beyond.
- The ability to control user registration, for example requiring completion of induction/training before registration is accepted.
- Dashboard showing pending candidate sites, allowing review and adjudication, and listing previously submitted sites by status.
- Receive notifications of new candidate submissions.
- See the existing Local heritage List entries, candidate sites, and National Heritage List for England (NHLE) sites in the interactive map. Find Local heritage List entries and candidate sites in an alternative searchable list view.
- Give feedback to applicants on candidate sites, permitting improvements and high quality re-submissions.
- Record the determination decisions on candidate sites, with justification.
- See a full audit trail of all changes to candidates and Local Heritage List entries.
- Add cross-references to existing HER records.
- Ability to suspend users accounts if necessary.
For the Planning Department(s)
- See the Local Heritage List Platform data "live" within Planning and GIS applications (via "API" web services including WMS/WFS).
- Access list entry details in formats friendly for incorporating and referencing in casework and policy decisions.
- See an audit trail of all changes to Local Heritage List entries, for sound governance.
- Download Local Heritage List Platform data whenever required.
For the local Historic Environment Record
As above, plus:
- Automatically accession new and changed Local Heritage List entries into the HER. For HBSMR HERs this will be part of HBSMR v6. For bespoke HERs this will be readily achievable with some programming against the LHLP API.
- Easily accession images and documents submitted.
Outcomes - announcement of successful areas
Following overwhelmingly positive interest from authorities, the MHCLG announced a doubling of the original funding allocation to £1.5 million, enabling 22 areas to benefit instead of the 10 originally envisaged. Seven of these areas have indicated their use of the Exegesis Local Heritage List Platform, and others are considering it against other options; we are now working with these teams to develop their final project designs.