Historic Houses represents Britain’s largest collection of independently owned historic houses, castles and gardens.

Independent historic houses are the backbone of our fifth biggest industry – tourism. Between them, the 1,650 unique places we represent welcome over 26 million visits each year – generating a huge £1 billion for the economy, and supporting over 33,700 full-time-equivalent jobs in largely rural areas.

They are hugely important rural business hubs, uniting culture, commerce and community through entrepreneurial activity. Whether they are diversifying into the world of events such as music, food or yoga festivals, building business parks that provide jobs for hundreds of local people, developing filming locations, or building creative start-ups – historic houses are catalysing new business activity up and down the country.

Despite all this activity, historic houses great and small face a mounting threat to their ongoing viability in the form of a backlog of repairs that currently totals £1.38 billion, nearly £500m of which is urgent. We are urging the Government to support our proposals for fiscal relief on Heritage Maintenance Funds at independent historic houses open to the public. This small policy change would enable independent houses to fund urgent repairs, ensuring they can continue to play a leading role spreading the economic and social benefits of tourism and culture.

Explore our key stats and research below.