National Trust and Historic England join calls to insulate Britain’s leaky homes
he National Trust, Historic England and major property companies have called for a national plan to insulate Britain’s historic buildings ahead of next week’s Budget.
In a report published on Monday, the organisations said an extra 105,000 workers, including plumbers, electricians and carpenters, were needed to make historic buildings more energy efficient, more than double the number currently working on the issue.
To address the shortage, they called for the Government to implement a national retrofit strategy that would provide the necessary training and funding to deal with historic buildings, defined as those built before 1919.
According to the report, published by the National Trust, Historic England, the Crown Estate and property companies Peabody and Grosvenor, around a quarter of all homes and a third of commercial buildings are considered to be “historic”, amounting to just less than seven million properties.
The UK needs a long-term national retrofit strategy, led by the Government
These also tend to be the least energy efficient buildings, as they were built to prevent the build-up of moisture and mould.
Tor Burrows, Grosvenor’s executive director of sustainability and innovation, said: “The Environmental Audit Committee has called for a national mobilisation on energy efficiency. We believe this captures the urgency of the task.
“The UK needs a long-term national retrofit strategy, led by the Government, positively bringing together training, funding and standards to sensitively decarbonise our historic buildings.
“Only then can we truly seize this opportunity to tackle a significant source of greenhouse emissions while protecting our much-loved built heritage.”
The five organisations claimed that retrofitting the UK’s historic buildings would support 290,000 jobs and boost the economy by £35 billion, as well as slashing Britain’s carbon emissions.
The call echoes one made by net zero tsar Chris Skidmore, who has also proposed a national retrofit strategy, and comes as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt considers his plans for the Budget on March 15.