Heritage

Our country’s heritage, both in terms of the built and the natural environment, surrounds us, informs us, identifies us and should never be taken for granted. We have a deep involvement in heritage matters, working both with clients charged with the preservation and conservation of heritage assets, and with clients who occupy heritage properties. We also have long experience of acting for lottery funders. We therefore have a wealth of experience of the complex trust, charity and property issues that heritage bodies encounter. We understand the operational environment in which these issues play out and the need for focussed commercial advice to allow you to work effectively.

In recent years we have had unique experience of dealing with three major public sector/charity heritage transfers. These three projects gave us experience of acting for the different bodies involved in such transfers. We acted for a government department in a major transfer of complex heritage and commercial functions to a new independent charity and subsequently acted for a non departmental public body involved in transfer of its heritage management into charity hands. Most recently we acted for a new independent charity established to take over extensive heritage management in and around London.

Our other work with our heritage clients has encompassed a range of different aspects, including:

  • detailed analysis of historic endowments and trusts for one of the country’s largest heritage bodies, identifying the terms on which such assets and how their income may be used;
  • advising on governance and legal structures, including ensuring that permanent endowment is effectively used and protected;
  • establishing a new charity to acquire and preserve a notable house on the at risk register and advising on its relationship with a performing arts charity operating from its property;
  • advising on charity law issues relating to public benefit, and the balance to be struck between preservation and open access;
  • advising on disposal of assets within the constraints of charity law and relevant accreditation;
  • establishing new charities in order to focus on specific aspects of a charity’s work;
  • revising Royal Charters and historic constitutions, ensuring that they are modern and fit-for-purpose;
  • dealing with property disposals and acquisitions, ensuring compliance with charity legislation;
  • advising on complex funding issues and the protection of funds;
  • advising on all aspects of safeguarding, crucial for the owners and managers of heritage properties who allow access to the general public.

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