In News

The official blue plaque scheme which celebrates historical figures could be expanded to cover the whole of the UK rather than just London.

The London scheme, which is run by English Heritage began more than 150 years ago and is the only official blue plaque scheme in the UK. There are council’s and heritage groups all over the UK that have similar schemes, but now the government is suggesting a single nationwide scheme.

Lord Parkinson, the government’s arts and heritage minister, told reporters: “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.”

An amendment has been tabled to the government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which will be debated in the House of Lords, to change the way the system works, to extend it nationwide.

A national scheme was trialed by English Heritage, but they found that so much ground had already been covered that it was decided they would just keep to London. Currently, there are more than 1000 blue plaques in London and there is a strict criteria over the installation of new ones. Recipients of a plaque must have been dead for at least 20 years and have lived at the location they are being connected with for either a long time or during an important period.

The government said the planned change to the scheme was a chance for people to research local history and nominate their own community figures. It is suggested that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is suggesting that Historic England, which is run by the government should run the scheme across England, while English Heritage will continue to deliver in London.




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