United Kingdom - Arcadis has signed a three-year partnership with Re-Form Heritage (formerly the United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust), an independent charity which specialises in the restoration and rejuvenation of heritage buildings at risk of decay or demolition.
Underlining Arcadis’s commitment to working with local communities, the partnership builds on the charity’s work at projects like Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent by helping provide a gateway for people situated near deprived areas to re-engage with their social and physical surroundings, co-create new opportunities and support the preservation of historic buildings.
Re-Form Heritage is typically active in areas that are impacted by deprivation, underinvestment and poor infrastructure. However, by working with local residents, community organisations, and businesses, Re-Form Heritage aims to build pride and instil a sense of place and belonging. Through their shared focus on revitalising communities, Arcadis and Re-Form Heritage aim to give local people a voice in how their area is shaped, ensuring that historic buildings are not only preserved but can be brought back into use for the whole community.
Forming collaborative partnerships to unlock expertise and shared goals is a key tenet of Arcadis’s wider approach to placemaking. With social value becoming increasingly integral to redevelopment, it is essential to recognise that placemaking does not exist in isolation. There are long standing historical elements, existing cultures and permanent assets that need to be taken into consideration when creating liveable places that meet the needs of local people. Ensuring that the community has a voice in determining what should be preserved and harnessed is key to generating longer term buy-in and support.
Arcadis has a long history of working within the local community and leading complex heritage projects. This includes the appraisal and delivery of Listed Building schemes and providing designs, specifications and project management for refurbishments, repairs, maintenance and rehabilitation schemes across both the public and private sector. Recent projects include helping to design, specify and administer the refurbishment of the derelict Lister Drive Library in Liverpool to provide a children’s day nursery and social enterprise hub for the local community, and acting as the retained Managing Agent and Technical Consultant to Greater London Authority for the maintenance of Trafalgar and Parliament Squares, both of which have world heritage status.
Nigel Green, who leads Arcadis’s Heritage Asset Consultancy team in the UK, said:
“Culture and heritage are such important parts of placemaking. Preserving, restoring or re-purposing historic buildings can help to root a community with a shared sense of history, and it’s so important that we recognise and celebrate the historic buildings that make up our unique physical environments. Working alongside Re-Form Heritage to support their work represents a fantastic alignment of our goals and vision, and I hope that together we can ensure the community voice continues to be heard front and centre of any local development plan.”
Clare Wood, Chief Executive at Re-Form Heritage, added:
“Re-Form’s partnership with Arcadis is a natural alliance as our values and approaches to communities and placemaking have much in common. Community-based participation is at the heart of Re-Form’s work, whether it comes by saving and creating jobs, celebrating an area’s unique heritage or enabling people to volunteer in the places they treasure, we consider these links between people and place to be vital in making enjoyable, healthy and desirable places to live. We look forward to developing the partnership with Arcadis over the coming years and using their support to help more communities and save more vulnerable heritage sites.”
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