Hastings has been named in the top five English ‘heritage assets’ – above Oxford and other historic locations.
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) released a report into the country’s heritage on Wednesday (September 23).
The report found Hastings to be in the top one per cent for industrial heritage and parks and open spaces, as well as the top five per cent for landscape and natural heritage and for ‘cultures and memories’.
“The heritage of the town is marked and celebrated through some of the largest number of Heritage Open Days and blue plaques in the country,” the RSA report says.
Hastings ranks in the top nine per cent for museums, archives and artefacts and for ‘historic built environment’, the town is in the top 12 per cent.
The report notes Hastings manages a high heritage rating despite high levels of deprivation.
Hastings’ heritage rating is even more impressive when compared to surrounding areas.
Rother is in the top 36 per cent, Eastbourne is in top 24 per cent and Wealden is in the bottom 40 per cent.
The RSA define heritage as, “anything inherited from the past that helps us, collectively or individually, to understand the present, and create a better future.”
The ‘Heritage Index’ is made up of more than 100 variables including the number of listed buildings, museums, businesses, parks and nature reserves in the area.
As well as the amount of spending, awards won, the population and tourism to the town or region.
Communities minister Marcus Jones said: “Britain has a history envied across the world and it’s great to see that – through the Heritage Index – communities can now discover how to make the most of that history to drive growth in their local area.
“What’s more, I would encourage local people to use the protections provided by community rights to list their local heritage assets and ensure that the next generation can continue to enjoy our past.”
To explore the interactive maps visit: www.thersa.org/action-and-research/rsa-projects/public-services-and-communities-folder/heritage-and-place/England.
To read the report in full visit: www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/reports/seven-themes-from-the-heritage-index.
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