Posted on 11/05/2012
With four million members, The National Trust is more popular than ever and English Heritage has recently seen its membership boom. BBC Radio 3 has invited Dr Anna Whitelock, from the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London to explore what has prompted this boom and to examine the UK's love affair with its past in its Sunday Feature The Heritage Wars.
Dr Whitelock explains: “During the show, I will be examining how the heritage industry is battling for our money. We are experiencing a recession and money is tight for many families and yet the heritage industry seems to be doing well.”
Anna talks to the leading figures in the heritage industry: Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust; Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery fund, with a funding purse of 340 million; and Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage.
Anna also visits popular heritage attractions to find out what their appeal is and why they are being successful during the recession.
Dr Whitelock says: “Many heritage attractions have seen a rise in family visits from better off "Waitrose families", but now they are attempting to widen their appeal and attract a wider range of visitors. During the show, I look at some of the methods the heritage industry is using to attract more visitors and discuss whether this is the right move to take."
She also talks to Carole Souter, the Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery fund to find out what criteria is applies to lottery grants and asks whether the money goes towards initiatives which reflect the profiles of those who contribute the most to the Lottery fund, the punters.
The Heritage Wars will be on BBC Radio 3 at 5pm on Sunday (13 May).