RESCUE has serious concern about the impact of the cuts proposed in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on archaeology in Britain.
A variety of considerations do not seem to have been taken into account when plans for the CSR were being made. Numerous surveys, from Power of Place (English Heritage April 2000) to Heritage Counts produced annually by EH on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum have repeatedly demonstrated the considerable importance to the economic well-being of the UK of the historic environment (which includes archaeology, museums, historic buildings and landscapes). Heritage-related tourism generates an estimated £7.4 billion of GDP and supports an estimated 195,000 jobs. Local and international tourism depends to a considerable extent on a healthy heritage sector with one third of all international tourists citing heritage as their main reason for visiting the UK (Heritage Counts2010).
RESCUE is monitoring the progress of the cuts and the effects that these will have on local, regional and national services and are mapping the effects at www.rescue-archaeology.org.uk/map. We have written to Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn at the House of Lords, and ministers in the DCLG and DCMS to draw the attention of members of both houses of parliament to these issues and the impact that the cuts will have, not only on archaeology and the historic environment but on wider communities and on economic development.