Ecorys’ survey of listed residential properties published by Historic England

| Natural Resources

Historic England has published a survey conducted by Ecorys UK that reveals the extent of commercial activity at historic residential properties across England.

The project contributes to Heritage Counts 2017, the annual state of the historic environment report. The survey of residential listed building and Conservation Area properties has built upon the previous survey conducted by Ecorys UK in 2015.

For the first time it shows the wide range of commercial activities being delivered at listed residential buildings – from accommodation through to events and retail. The findings indicate that residential heritage properties are actively contributing to their local economies and communities to a greater extent than previously thought:

  • Over a fifth (21%) of listed building owners reported that they undertook some commercial activity at their property. Among Conservation Area property owners, a 10% reported that they undertook some commercial activity.
  • The most common commercial activities among listed building owners were provision of office space (12%) and accommodation such as bed and breakfast or cottage rental (9%). Among Conservation Area property owners, the most common activity was provision of office space (6%).
  • Other commercial activities included events, public openings, physical and online retail and farming and agriculture.

The survey also explored owners’ approaches to the purchase of insurance to understand the potential risk to heritage posed by underinsurance or inappropriate insurance..  The findings indicate that more could be done to ensure that owners have access to the right information about insurance values and access to professionals with the experience to provide accurate advice.