Heritage organisations

Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Areas of interest

Historic environment

We are responsible for ensuring that the historic environment of England is properly protected and conserved for the benefit of present and future generations.

We seek to promote understanding of the historic environment so that people can appreciate and enjoy the heritage assets around them.

We fund English Heritage, Government’s statutory advisor on the historic environment, and the largest source of non-lottery grant funding for heritage assets.

We are responsible for the policy directions governing the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Protecting the historic environment

Our aim is that England’s historic environment should be conserved, enhanced and enjoyed for the quality of life it brings to current and future generations.

Heritage assets

Those parts of the historic environment that are valued because of their historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest are known as 'heritage assets'. Some heritage assets have a level of interest that justifies statutory protection through designation.

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for designating, re-designating and de-designating the following categories of heritage asset:

  • scheduled monuments
  • listed buildings
  • protected wreck sites

We are also responsible for determining applications for:

  • scheduled monument consent
  • licenses to dive on protected wreck sites

Together with English Heritage, we also work closely with other departments, such as the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ensure that the delivery of government policy affords appropriate protection to England’s historic environment and heritage assets.

We also work with colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to coordinate UK nominations for World Heritage Sites.

Places of worship

We are responsible for managing the Government’s interests in historic places of worship.

This covers the following main areas:

  • The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT)
  • Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme
  • Ecclesiastical Exemption