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Council to host seminars on protection and maintenance of historic buildings

06 February 2020

Derry City and Strabane District Council will host two seminars later this month, one focusing on the importance of regular maintenance of historic buildings and another on how climate change will impact heritage sensitive environments.

The first day-long seminar with take place from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Monday 24th February in Derry’s Guildhall and will be entitled ‘Maintenance Matters’.

Among the speakers taking part in the seminar are Chris McCollum, a Building Conservation Surveyor with Building Conservation Surveyors Ltd; Bronagh Lynch, Conservation Architect with Consarc; Vanessa Glindmeier from Adapt Northern Heritage and Caroline Maguire, Architect with the Heritage Advice & Regulation Branch of the DfC Historic Environment Division.

Maura Fitzpatrick, Derry City and Strabane District Council Heritage Officer, said the seminar will be of particular interest to architects, engineers, conservation and planning officials, building owners, building contractors, historical societies, students, or anyone with a keen interest in preserving our historic buildings.

“The seminar allows us to promote regular maintenance of buildings to avoid more serious defects occurring in the future,” said Maura. “The deterioration of many properties is often not the result of neglect, but a lack of understanding, and we hope this event will allow us to educate and inform property owners of the importance of early intervention and how it can prevent costly defects at a later stage.”

On the following day, Tuesday 25th February, the second day-long seminar will focus on climate change within the context of historic environments. This event will be led by Adapt Northern Heritage, who will deliver a focussed seminar entitled ‘Climate Change Adaptation of Derry’s Historic Places’ in the Guildhall from 9am until 5pm.

Adapt Northern Heritage, in partnership with project CLIMATE and supported by the Interreg programme for the Northern Periphery and Arctic, will provide an insight into the potential climate change impacts on Derry’s historic places using local case studies. Historic Environment Scotland are a lead partner in the ANH project, also running the seminar in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland as well as a similar seminar format in Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Greenland.

Adapt Northern Heritage will share their risk assessments and adaptation planning tools to help local communities and local governments across Europe plan the adaptation of their historic places to the environmental impacts of climate change and natural hazards. This seminar will also be of interest to architects, conservation specialists, engineers, building owners, building contractors, planners, historical societies or students or anyone with an interest in preserving our historic buildings.

In welcoming both events, Karen Phillips, Director of Environment & Regeneration from Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “These are two very important seminars which will provide a very useful insight for delegates on firstly the importance of maintaining our historic built fabric by providing useful case studies to owners of heritage properties, as well as the impact of climate change upon heritage sensitive environments and an overview of the key points for consideration in terms of adaptation and mitigation measures.

“There is an interesting range of speakers at both events and I would encourage those with an interest in the two subject matters to attend.”

The seminars are free of charge and include refreshments and a light lunch. Spaces are limited so booking is essential. Those interested in attending should contact [email protected]. When confirming booking you are advised to inform organisers of any dietary requirements.

This event is part of a public awareness initiative the Council is running as part of District Council Maintenance Week Catalyst thanks to funding from the DfC Historic Environment Division.