Fit for the Future is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF), which helps communities to save buildings through advice, grants and loans. The AHF has been working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas.
The AHF exists to help communities find enterprising ways to revitalise the old buildings they love. Their support acts as a catalyst for putting sustainable heritage at the heart of vibrant local economies. For over 40 years, they have been the leading social investor in creating new futures for historic buildings.
Conserving and re-using existing building stock is going to be a critical aspect of addressing the climate emergency. Historic England has recently produced a report called ‘Heritage Counts’, and this early research shows that sympathetically upgrading and reusing existing buildings, rather than demolishing and building new, could dramatically improve a building’s energy efficiency. It would also make substantial energy savings because the CO₂ emissions already embodied within existing buildings would not be lost through demolition.
Fit for the Future’s partnership with the AHF would support these communities to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of their projects to repurpose historic buildings. At the early stage of a new project, communities in receipt of AHF funding can include membership of Fit for the Future as an eligible project cost, allowing them to access all the benefits of the network while sharing their own lessons learnt of working on and repurposing historic buildings sustainably. This is an exciting opportunity to practically address the climate crisis through caring for our historic buildings across the UK.
Matthew McKeague, Chief Executive at the AHF, said of the partnership:
“We are committed to addressing climate change and sustainability, both through our own operations and through the projects we fund and support. This partnership with Fit for the Future will enable our communities to access the practical advice and experience available through the network. Working with historic buildings is one of the most challenging but also one of the most effective ways we can reduce our carbon emissions, and by working together we have an opportunity to make a real difference.”
To find out more about the partnership, or how your organisation or community could benefit, please get in touch.