Westminster Media Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244

England’s heritage sector - funding and investment, widening audiences, and growing social and economic impact


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider key issues for England’s Heritage Sector - museums, galleries, historic places, and the partners and communities they work with.

Key areas for discussion:

  • What is needed from the Cultural Investment Fund - what a fair distribution of the investment would look like and criteria for assessing funding applications;
  • Funding channelling - including for smaller organisations and to projects that most need it, and increasing openness and transparency in application processes;
  • Dynamism - supporting organisations to be more entrepreneurial and develop new business models that will help maximise engagement and income;
  • Alternative models of investment - including loans and social investment;
  • Widening engagement, diversifying revenue streams, and attracting investment - including latest thinking around maximising the opportunities presented by emerging technologies;
  • Accessibility and inclusiveness - how heritage destinations can be made more open to a diverse range of backgrounds, including factors such as age, ethnicity, socio-economic class, and disability;
  • Local-level economic impact - maximising job creation and skills development, driving tourism, and strategies for facilitating further growth; and
  • Heritage and net zero - priorities for the sector’s contribution to reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.

We also expect discussion on what approaches the sector will need to take to recover from the impact of the restrictions on movement resulting from the COVID-19 crisis and the support that might be required, as well as the measures that the sector may have to take going forward as rules are lifted.

Why this is relevant now - the context:  

It takes place with:

  • Political and economic uncertainty putting pressure on funding organisations to prioritise support in areas that are more likely to generate revenue;
  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s funding strategy with plans to help heritage organisations become more financially resilient - beyond grants to mechanisms such as loans and social investment;
  • The Tourism Sector Deal setting out targets to make the UK the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by 2025;
  • The £95m government funding to redevelop high streets across the country by repurposing empty and underused buildings into creative and cultural spaces, offices, retail outlets, and housing;
  • The new heritage preservation campaign to promote the reuse of existing buildings - with a view to reducing the country’s carbon footprint, foster sustainability, and meeting net-zero targets; and
  • The £50m and £160m emergency funding packages, announced by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Arts Council England respectively, to support the heritage sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The agenda:

  • Support for England’s Heritage Sector - next steps for policy;
  • Widening audiences - digital engagement, maximising opportunities presented by emerging technologies, and developing immersive and interactive experiences;
  • Where next for funding? Evaluating capital projects, new models of investment, and supporting organisations to become more financially sustainable;
  • Realising the social and economic value of heritage:
    • Restoration and revitalisation of heritage buildings and sites - opportunities for commercial and community use;
    • Driving local economic growth;
    • Increasing community engagement with heritage assets, strengthening local identity, and next steps for High Street Heritage Action Zones;
    • Promoting inclusion, accessibility, and cultural and natural heritage conservation; and
    • Developing talent, knowledge, and capacity for engagement with the creative industries.
    • Maximising heritage assets and developing visitor experiences - a case study.

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by officials from DCMSDefra; the Department for International Trade; the Department for Communities, NI and the Historic Environment Scotland.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Media Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates