Heritage funding and ‘dumbing down’ fears shared on Twitter

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A number of Twitter users are concerned about the sustainability, funding and ‘dumbing down’ of our heritage, an online discussion has revealed.

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Using the hashtag #debateheritage, English Heritage has invited its 76,000 Twitter followers to share their concerns about our historic environment.

From sustainability to a lack of respect for buildings, Twitter users have discussed their fears for the future of heritage.

One flagged “the dumbing down of our heritage to theme park status on occasion”, while another complained of the “installation of UPVC windows, plastic fascia signs and deliberate neglect of historic buildings”.

Metal theft “from monuments and vulnerable parish church collections” was also discussed, as was “the lack of statutory role for heritage in local government”.

The twitter discussion forms part of a two-day conference to mark the centenary of the 1913 Ancient Monuments Act. The act heralded the state’s official involvement in heritage protection.

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the act, English Heritage has brought together leading figures from academia and public life to debate the future of heritage.

Also involved is the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Society of Antiquaries of London and the National Trust.

William Deed, English Heritage social media manager, told historyextra: “You can only fit a certain number of delegates in the conference hall, so we thought we’d open the debate to our Twitter followers. We wanted to see what their views were.

“We’ve had a very good response, particularly to our question ‘what does heritage mean to you?’

“We wanted to hear as many voices as possible and find out what heritage issues matter most to people.”

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To find out more about the conference, click here. Footage of the conference will be uploaded to the English Heritage website later this week.