There has been encouraging progress to protect historic buildings, landmarks and monuments in Wales according to a National Assembly committee.
The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee has been looking at the impact of the Historic Environment (Wales) Act which gives more protection to listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments in Wales.
The Committee found in broad terms the Act appears to be working as intended, and the role of Cadw, the part of the government charged with protecting and promoting the country’s historic environment, had been widely welcomed.
Members have recommended Cadw start re-awarding grants to owners of listed buildings and scheduled monuments at risk of falling into disrepair. The organisation effectively suspended the programme in order to put itself on a firmer financial footing. But the Committee believes this objective has been achieved and that grants funding should recommence.
“The historic environment is a rich part of what makes Wales the country it is,” said Bethan Sayed AM, Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee.
“It bears witness to our history and provides a sense of place for our national story and culture. It is the past here in the present.
“In general terms we believe that reasonable progress has been made since the Historical Environment Act was passed, but it is important that momentum is now maintained.
“We have, therefore, made a range of practical recommendations that we believe will help drive forward progress so that our historic environment thrives not just in the present but in the future as well.”
The Committee makes 16 recommendations in its report, including:
- The effectiveness of the statutory list of historic place names should be kept under review, with a view to introducing additional protections if the current list proves ineffective;
- Cadw should work with the National Trust and other partners to encourage the historic environment sector to emulate the National Trust’s work to make management of the sector more environmentally-friendly; and
- Cadw should restart its grant funding for owners of listed buildings and scheduled monuments at risk.