IHBC Yearbook 2017

5 FOREWORD I’m delighted to have been asked to provide the foreword to this 2017 edition of the IHBC Yearbook which explores the important theme of local and national infrastructure, and the skills required for its conservation and regeneration. In this country we are blessed with many different types of infrastructure, much of it dating from the Industrial Revolution. One example, the rail network, is still largely in use very much for its original purpose, carrying people and goods around the country. The canal and waterways system, however, has been reborn as a key part of our leisure activity and, in some places, as a focus for residential and commercial development. Changes in technology and use, together with a reduction in manufacturing, have meant that the need for buildings associated with our infrastructure – mills, warehouses and docks, for example – has been reduced. However, industrial sites can possess a latent power in terms of supporting regeneration as a major driver for growth and change. Formerly a derelict railway workshop, the distinctive Derby Roundhouse, for example, is now celebrated as a landmark within the city and as a prime example of the creative reuse of an industrial building. It now provides a home for Derby College, with the Roundhouse at its centre, accessible to students and the wider public for the first time. Through financial investment and supportive partnerships, these disused and at-risk buildings have now found a new purpose. In Portsmouth, Boathouse 4 in the heart of the historic dockyard has become the home of the International Boatbuilding Training College. Built during the rearmament drive of the 1930s, the vast building now supports the development of a range of traditional skills that will ensure the survival of the UK’s maritime heritage, from small private craft to the nearby HMS Victory. Guaranteeing a future for these buildings by sensitively adapting them to new uses is, of course, possible only with the participation of skilled conservation professionals. HLF is a key advocate for building skills capacity across the full breadth of the heritage sector and endorses the work being done by IHBC to develop further online learning resources and enhance its relationships with conservation course providers. The heritage sector also relies on a vital and energetic human infrastructure comprising of a network of organisations and the conservation professionals they train and support. The articles which follow bring the scale and scope of this work sharply into focus and show too the challenging nature of the environment in which it is carried out. Approaching the theme of infrastructure from very different directions, the articles also give a sense of how far the subject extends beyond conventional associations with transport and industry. At a time when public awareness of the country’s infrastructure is high and government is showing an increasing interest in the nation’s industrial potential, this is a fitting moment to consider how we protect and safeguard the best of our historic examples and to explore the topics and themes contained in this publication. Ros Kerslake OBE Chief Executive Heritage Lottery Fund The Derby Roundhouse, part of a complex of nationally significant railway workshops which have been converted for use by Derby College and the wider public