English Heritage Merger Planned

Martin Petchey outlines a new government plan to merge heritage organisations.

The government is proposing to make radical changes to the official face of English archaeology and the built environment. English Heritage (the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission) and the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) are to be merged on April 1st, 1999, and at a future date, many of their functions devolved to multi-disciplinary regional bodies, which will also administer the regional aspects of such disparate activities as libraries, film and sport.

The initial announcement was made in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Comprehensive Spending Review (which amounts to a review of the Department’s policy priorities), and received almost no publicity until December 1998, hardly surprising since the changes were not even mentioned in the Department’s press releases.

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