There has been a great deal of interest in the Blue Plaques Scheme and despite inaccurate reports, English Heritage remains committed to the Scheme and it will continue. However, our focus over the next two years will be to reduce a backlog of plaques that have already been agreed and to lay the foundations for a long-term future for the scheme that reduces the cost to the tax payer. For this reason, the scheme is being temporarily closed to new applications while we catch up with the backlog.
It has been agreed that the Scheme, which currently costs £218,000 a year, should become cheaper and more self-sustaining. The Blue Plaques Team will be reduced from four to two people during 2013. They will continue to erect plaques from a list already agreed by our expert Blue Plaques Advisory Panel and we anticipate putting up a minimum of 12 plaques over the next two years.
English Heritage is proud to run this much loved Scheme and, over the next eighteen months, we will work up the details of a new approach to its administration. We will announce the details in 2014.