December 4, 2023


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Blue plaques scheme could be extended outside of London | Heritage#Blue #plaques #scheme #extended #London #Heritage

The official blue plaques scheme could be extended outside of London to honour notable figures and their connections to buildings across England.

The project, run in London by English Heritage, celebrates the links between historically significant people and the buildings in which they lived and worked.

While plates commemorating prominent figures feature on buildings in towns and cities across the UK, such as Manchester city council’s plaques programme, the official scheme is based exclusively in the capital.

The original scheme was launched by the Society of Arts in 1867, and English Heritage took over the venture in 1986. It is thought to be the oldest project of its kind in the world.

The House of Lords is due to debate an amendment to the levelling up and regeneration bill to create an official England-wide system. The amendment is being tabled by the arts and heritage minister, Stephen Parkinson, and is also backed by Lady Pinnock and Lord Mendoza.

Between 2000 and 2005, English Heritage piloted a national project but this was scrapped because “much of the ground had already been covered”, according to the charity’s website.

There are more than 900 official plaques across London, which must meet certain criteria including that the person commemorated must have been dead for at least 20 years, have lived in London for a significant amount of time, and deserves national recognition.

Lord Parkinson said: “London’s blue plaques are world renowned. For over 150 years they have helped to celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of our capital city and the people who have passed through it.

“But people everywhere should be able to celebrate the figures who have shaped their community – which is why we are seeking to extend this opportunity across the country, to allow people and buildings from anywhere in England to be nominated.”

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