As we rapidly approach the halfway point of another year, we thought this would be a good time to reflect on the past 6 months – please excuse the football related title, but it’s the Euros so we had no choice!
The start of the year saw Armour Heritage become a Registered Organisation with the CIfA, which was an excellent outcome following a considerable amount of form-filling and a very helpful meeting with the CIfA’s representatives just before Christmas. The feedback from our clients has been positive too, and has confirmed that our continued commitment to delivering independent, professional, and pragmatic advice on all heritage related projects is good for client and heritage alike.
Since receiving the CIfA kitemark, it’s proven to be a very busy time, with multiple projects across the UK, ranging geographically from the western tip of Cornwall to Rainham in Essex in the south, and occasional trips ‘up country’ to the East Midlands and beyond for fieldwork and desk-based heritage projects. The end of May also saw the winding-up of our extensive excavations at Winnersh in Berkshire – see the galleries section for a bit more on this. The dig was AH’s biggest project to date, and provided a number of logistical challenges, interesting archaeology and welcome outreach opportunities, including a well-attended open day.
Of course, every half-year has its hitches and we, like the rest of our profession, remain concerned over the contents of the Queen’s Speech, in particular elements of the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill, which in its current form, jeopardises over 25 years of improved heritage protection within the planning system, putting future construction projects at greater financial risk, and our valued clients with the threat of potential lengthy delays on site. AH has joined in our industry’s robust opposition to aspects of the proposed changes in their current form, and we await the outcome of consultations triggered by the well-supported online petition in this regard.
It’s less than a couple of weeks until the in/out EU vote, another cause of concern here and elsewhere across the profession. Although we can’t be clear on how the outcome will affect our profession and the wider economy in the longer term, we are under no illusion that much of our heritage and environmental protection stems from European policy – though not all strictly EU based - and continued membership of the EU would support these conventions in a positive manner.
All-in-all a positive first half to the year, may the second half bring continued success!