British Queen celebrates

The National Trust, Historic England, and major property companies are urging the UK government to implement a national retrofit strategy to insulate the country's historic buildings ahead of

next week's budget. In a joint report, the organisations outlined that around a quarter of all homes and a third of commercial buildings are considered to be 'historic', which amounts to just under seven million properties. These buildings are often the least energy efficient, and so require significant attention in terms of insulation.

The report highlights that an additional 105,000 workers, including plumbers, electricians, and carpenters, are needed to make historic buildings more energy efficient, more than double the current number working on the issue. The National Trust, Historic England, and the Crown Estate, alongside property companies Peabody and Grosvenor, have called for the government to provide the necessary funding and training to address this shortage of skilled workers.

The report defines historic buildings as those built before 1919, which includes some of the UK's most iconic buildings such as Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. The buildings were designed to prevent the build-up of moisture and mould, which makes them less energy efficient than modern buildings. The organisations argue that retrofitting the UK's historic buildings would support 290,000 jobs and boost the economy by £35bn, as well as significantly reducing the country's carbon emissions.

The National Trust, Historic England, and property firms such as Grosvenor have emphasized the urgent need for a national mobilisation on energy efficiency. They believe that the UK requires a long-term national retrofit strategy, led by the government, to sensitively decarbonize the country's historic buildings. Only then can the country seize the opportunity to tackle a significant source of greenhouse emissions while protecting the much-loved built heritage.

This call echoes that made by net-zero tsar Chris Skidmore, who has also proposed a national retrofit strategy. The chancellor Jeremy Hunt is currently considering his plans for the budget on March 15, and the organisations are calling on the government to use this opportunity to implement a national plan to insulate the country's historic buildings. Photo by MarkS at English Wikipedia.