Heritage Day 2021 The biggest event in the heritage calendar

Heritage Day goes digital this year!

Heritage Day is The Heritage Alliance's signature annual event, open to everyone across the heritage sector. We are going digital this year, offering a chance for people to network and come together virtually to discuss key topics for the sector in 2021.

This year, it will be held in a new format across two mornings, over Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th March 2021 (10am - 1pm each day).

This informative and interactive online event will provide the same elements, with some new digital experiences in the form of virtual reality, whimsical performances and online networking, to enable attendees to still connect and interact with other sector professionals in a virtual space.

Attendees will also hear keynote speeches from, Caroline Dinenage, The Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Sir Laurie Magnus, Chair of Historic England and as well as the launch of Heritage Counts. The event will close with the presentation of Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Heroes Awards to the winners, which this year are particularly poignant, with all the hard work the sector has done when faced with extreme challenges.

Book on to the event by Monday 22nd March to ensure you receive a full delegate pack ahead of the event, with all the details you will need. Don't forget to also book onto the breakout sessions on offer each morning (full details below).

This event is generously sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

Enagage with us on social media in the lead up to and during the event using #HeritageDay2021


Welcome to Our Virtual Programme

Scroll down for:

  • An agenda for the event
  • Details for how to book onto the breakout sessions
  • Tasters for what to expect on the day
  • Details of the Ecclesiastical Heritage Heroes Awards


Heritage Day 2021 will be taking place over the mornings of Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 March 2021. Each part of the event will last for three hours, enabling attendees to hear from the Heritage Minister and sector leaders, network with other professionals and explore new ideas. This year, we are going digital and so will be bringing in some new experiences, including performances and virtual networking, to make the event both informative and interactive.

Here is the final agenda (please note that this has been slightly revised). Attendees will receive a full version of the agenda, including timings, in their delegate pack.

You can download a full agenda, including details of all speakers and timings across the two mornings here:

Heritage Heroes Awards

Heritage Heroes Awards 2020

For over a decade, Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Heroes Awards have celebrated the incredible contribution of volunteers in the heritage sector. More than a simple thank you, these awards are a great opportunity to demonstrate how communities can take ownership of the historic environment around them and make a real difference.

Each year at Heritage Day we announce the winners of these Awards, sponsored by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical, the UK’s leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings.

Volunteers are vital for the protection of England’s heritage. From caring for rural heritage sites to devising new ways of working remotely, volunteers’ skills, passion, and commitment have proved to be more crucial than ever in 2020. This Heritage Day, we are therefore celebrating the outstanding contribution Britain’s heritage volunteers made to society through this year's awards.

The three award categories this year are:

  • Heritage in Lockdown Hero Award
  • Supporting the Sector in Lockdown Award
  • Digital Heritage Hero Award

Further details about the awards and past winners can be found here.

The winners will be announced after 12.30pm on 25 March 2021 on day two of Heritage Day (Thursday 25 March).

We'll be sharing details of the finalists in the week leading up to Heritage Day on social media, so be sure to follow the hashtag #HeritageHeroes2020.

A true Heritage Hero is a person who generously gives time and knowledge to creating and preserving beautiful places and objects, often under the radar, for the benefit of everyone. They make a huge contribution to their community by making local places and stories more loved and accessible.

- Peter Ainsworth, Chair of The Heritage Alliance

The Awards

The awards this year are being designed by the very talented Joby Carter, who will be bringing an extra element of heritage craft to this year's Awards ceremony.

Joby grew up on Carters Steam Fair, the world’s largest and most beautiful vintage travelling funfair, where he learnt skills that directly link to the master painters of the Victorian age. Carters Steam Fair is a member of the Association of Independent Roundabout Proprietors [Heritage Alliance Member].

You can see more work from Joby Carter Originals here.

A sneak peek at a few of the final designs for the Awards this year.
Virtual Breakout Rooms

Book onto a virtual session

Virtual breakout sessions will be taking place over both days of the event and are open to all attendees. Please note that only those who have purchased a ticket will be able to attend these sessions.

These breakout sessions will offer attendees opportunities to learn, network and share ideas around topics that are important to the heritage sector in 2021.

A quick look at the breakout rooms on offer for both days of the event are below. If you want to read the full details - including bios for the speakers and further information about each session: download the full breakdown here:

Day 1 - 24 March 2021

The four sessions on offer on Day 1 (Wednesday 24 March) are:

  • Day 1: Room 1: The Virtual Reality Gallery
  • Day 1: Room 2: An Introduction to Rebuilding Heritage with Sarah Murray and Vanessa Moore - The Heritage Alliance
  • Day 1: Room 3: Meet & Greet with Delphine Jasmin-Belisle - Membership & Development Manager, The Heritage Alliance
  • Day 1: Room 4: Evaluation of Cultural Recovery Funded Projects with Sarah Dowd - Managing Director, Tricolor

Day 2 - 25 March 2021

The four sessions on offer on Day 1 (Thursday 25 March) are:

  • Day 2: Room 1: The Virtual Reality Gallery
  • Day 2: Room 2: Heritage Digital: The benefits of building a digital strategy with Jonathan Chevallier - CEO, Charity Digital
  • Day 2: Room 3: Heritage Advocacy with Hannah Shimko - Head of Policy & Communications, The Heritage Alliance
  • Day 2: Room 4: Removing barriers to trustee diversity in the heritage sector with Penny Wilson - CEO, Getting on Board

All sessions will take place at 11am and will last for 30 minutes in total.

Please note that attendees can only book onto one session per day, as these will be run simultaneously. So please choose two sessions in total - one for Day 1 and one for Day 2.

Advertising Opportunities

Advertising Opportunities

A limited number of digital advertising spaces are available, with a reduced rate for members of The Heritage Alliance. Advertisements will be seen by hundreds of delegates from leading heritage sites and organisations across the UK.

For more information and to book your advertisement, please contact Courtney at events@theheritagealliance.org.uk.

We're really looking forward to welcoming attendees to Heritage Day this year.

For further details about events from The Heritage Alliance, please visit our website.


Image credits: (in order of appearance) AR at Alexandra Palace (credit: Alexandra Park & Palace), The Painted Hall (credit: Royal Museums Greenwich), AR Experience (credit: Placecloud), Gloucester Cathedral Tower through Arch (credit: Kevin Lewis), Conservation Work at Dover Castle 2019 (credit: English Heritage), Abbotsford (courtesy of Historic Houses).