English Heritage will become the 65th-largest charity in England and Wales, with an annual income of £90m once it spins out into the voluntary sector in 2015, according to figures released today.
This week’s spending review included the announcement that a new charity will spin out of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, a non-departmental public body that is usually known as English Heritage, in 2015.
The new charity will use the name English Heritage and contain the arm of the existing organisation that looks after the National Heritage Collection – this consists of 420 historic sites, monuments and collections, including Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall.
The remainder of the organisation will remain as an NDPB, known initially as the National Heritage Protection Service.
The National Heritage Collection will not belong to the new charity, but will remain in public ownership, English Heritage said. The charity will be given a long-term contract to run the collections, which will entitle it to receive revenues from the collection, including visitor income, membership, retail and catering. The exact length of the contract is still to be agreed.
Income from the collection is currently worth £70m a year, but the cost of running it is about £90m. The charity will initially receive an annual grant from the HBMCE to make up the difference between income and expenditure.
English Heritage said that revenue from the collection would rise over time to make up the difference between income and expenditure. It is currently rising by 7 per cent a year.
The charity will receive an additional, one-off settlement of £80m of government money to help it make the transition into the voluntary sector, which is expected to be spent mainly on a backlog of repairs and refurbishments to the sites in its care.
The charity will come into the sector with about 700 staff. Those staff will remain members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, which is unfunded, and will be paid for out of future tax revenues. It is not currently clear whether the charity will inherit a pensions deficit.
The move follows on the heels of British Waterways, which span out as the Canal and River Trust.