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Historic Properties

Volume 264: debated on Monday 23 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what support is given to help private owners of homes that have a historic and architectural interest to retain and maintain their homes. [38369]

The Government believe that so far as possible historic properties should remain in private hands and that their owners should be encouraged to retain and care for them. In addition to grants from English Heritage, and its sister organisations in the home countries, owners of outstanding historic buildings may take advantage of a range of tax measures, for example conditional exemption from inheritance tax and tax relief in relation to heritage maintenance funds.

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) if she will list those private historic houses which have received grants during the Past five years, giving the amount of grant paid to each house; [38368](2) how many historic houses have received repair and maintenance grants in each year since 1990. [38367]

Government funding for the repair and maintenance of historic buildings in England is channelled through English Heritage, which does not hold information in the form requested. However, all repair grants offered by English Heritage to buildings and monuments of outstanding national importance are listed in their publications "Grants 1984–92", "Grants 1992–93" and "Grants 1993–94", copies of which I have placed in the Library. Private owners of listed buildings will also benefit from a significant proportion of English Heritage's conservation area grants, but a precise figure cannot be given as the minority of these are offered through schemes administered by local authorities. In 1994–95, English Heritage offered a total of nearly £60 million in grants, approximately half of which was for secular buildings and monuments and conservation areas. Local authorities may also themselves offer grants to private owners of historic houses.