summer statement

Summer statement missed opportunities for the heritage sector, leading insurer states

Image: Faith Kitchen, heritage director at Ecclesiastical

As the dust settles on yesterday’s summer statement from the chancellor, figures from across the museums and heritage sectors have begun voicing their opinions and concerns about where funding and tax reliefs have been directed.

Following the announcement of Rishi Sunak’s latest fiscal plans, Faith Kitchen, heritage director at Ecclesiastical, the UK’s leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings, says the overall picture is “encouraging” and that the company welcomes the “much-needed boost to the economy”.

A lower rate of VAT for certain services, a £1,000 job retention bonus and incentivised traineeships could – dependent on information HMRC will publish shortly – benefit cultural organisations across the UK.

While acknowledging that “many heritage organisations will greatly benefit from the Government’s temporary cut to VAT on food, accommodation and attractions”, Kitchen notes: “it’s disappointing that the chancellor hasn’t used this fiscal statement as an opportunity to give direct support to the heritage sector”.

More needs to be done, she says, to “support the custodians of Britain’s heritage properties” with the introduction of measures such as reducing VAT on repairs and approved alterations to listed buildings. This would help organisations and owners of listed properties protect “an important part of the nation’s heritage”, Kitchen concludes.