Prospect call to protect the cultural heritage


Prospect call to protect the cultural heritage

Prospect, which represents over 800 archaeologists, has launched a manifesto for UK archaeology. This calls on the government to protect Britain’s cultural heritage by supporting the archaeology industry and tackling problems such as low status, poor pay, and inadequate regulation.

The union unveiled the document at the Institute of Field Archaeologists conference, taking place at the University of Bangor, and is asking all the main political parties to sign up to it.

The seven-point manifesto outlines many of the challenges facing the archaeology industry and calls for:

  • a review of the current planning guidance to ensure that developers cannot shortcut the planning process and archaeological work undertaken is of the highest quality
  • an appropriate authority to register archaeological organisations and monitor all stages of work
  • legislation requiring all archaeological contractors to register with this authority and produce draft contracts and policy statements regarding health and safety and equal opportunities
  • evidence that contractors observe standards set by an industry-wide collective bargaining process or pay review body and ensure salaries and conditions are commensurate with other graduate professions, such as civil engineers and planning officers
  • a reduction in the use of fixed term appointments
  • government bodies to support and fund the work being done by the organisations responsible for archaeology
  • a cross-departmental government co-ordinating committee to ensure consistent approach to archaeology.
Copies will be sent to each of the 139 members of the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group whose own in-depth investigation into the state of British archaeology recently found that "weak government support is putting the country’s heritage at risk." It is also available on our website in PDF format.

Prospect represents archaeologists working in: AOC, Bath, Clwyd and Powys, National Trust, CADW, Canterbury, Cumbria, Dyfed, English Heritage/RCHME, Gwent, Gwynedd, Hertfordshire, Historic Scotland, Lancaster, Lincoln, Museum of London, Oxford, Pre-Construct Archaeology, Scottish Urban, Wessex and York.

The All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group report on the state of British archaeology can be downloaded from their website.