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Significance: Who Decides?
21st to 23rd June, Winchester
(Day School: Friday 22nd June)
2012 IHBC Annual School

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation’s 2012 School examines ‘Significance’, including associated principles such as ‘special interest’ and the processes for assessing value, with an especially timely programme of CPD designed to cater for all specialists working in the historic environment.  

RelevanceWith the arrival of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in England, and the demise of the PPSs, there is a new urgency to understanding how ideas around 'Significance' shape the management of our heritage, and how 'special interest' underpins statutory duties.  Consequently, how we identify values in our cultural heritage, and how those values shape conservation advice and strategies, are more relevant than ever. Indeed the theme of the 2012 School represents some of the most challenging areas for the historic environment specialist today, especially as we try so hard to cater to so many - and such diverse - interests.  

Structure & Options: The School has a flexible structure, with options around both a single Day School of lectures, and a 3-day residential or non-residential School that includes relevant tours and visits, all carefully structured to address key areas of CPD and to ensure maximum training benefits.

: Both Full and Day Schools will provide delegates from all specialist backgrounds with opportunities to hear the latest thinking on who decides what significance is, how it can be determined, and what its role is in conservation.  Deciding on the value of our heritage is the essential first step in assessing how best to care for it, because if we don’t understand what is significant, we cannot be sure that we will care properly for what we value, or allocate limited resources efficiently. 

Day School: The Day School brings together speakers from diverse specialist backgrounds who will explain and explore how we assess and protect significance of buildings, landscapes and sites today, and  consider how we might improve those processes for the future.  It includes access to a wide range of exhibitors.

Full School: This includes specialist site visits, and additional networking events in historic settings.

Support & location: The School, which is supported by English Heritage as well as a host of other conservation interests, will be based in the historic city of Winchester. The main Day School venue is its Victorian Guildhall.

Booking: For full details visit

Tasters: For an insight to past Schools, including reports on and links to past IHBC Schools. see:

Seán O'Reilly, IHBC                                                April 2012