Once your proposal has been received by English Heritage, it will be checked by a member of the Blue Plaques Team to ensure that the basic criteria for consideration are met.
Consideration of proposals
If the basic criteria have been met, the proposal will be passed to an English Heritage historian, who will carry out research for consideration by the Blue Plaques Panel at its next meeting. A letter will be sent to you confirming that your proposal will be considered by the Panel, and informing you of the month that the meeting is due to take place.
Once the Panel has considered your suggestion, and the minutes of the meeting have been agreed, you will be sent a letter informing you of English Heritage's decision.
The decision will be one of three things:
1. Suggestion has been shortlisted
If the Panel decides that the proposal merits a blue plaque, it will be shortlisted for final research (including the selection of a building for a plaque and the composition of an inscription).
Due to the high volume of suggestions for blue plaques which English Heritage receives, and the limited number we are able to erect each year, shortlisted suggestions at present spend around three years awaiting this detailed research.
2. Further research/time is required
In some instances, the Panel is unable to reach a decision.
It may be that further research is required in order to clarify the importance of the proposed person, or historical site or event, or that more time is required to allow the proposed individual’s reputation to settle or mature.
In the former case, you will be informed that further research will be carried out by an English Heritage historian, and in the latter case, you will be encouraged to submit the nomination again after a period of ten years.
3. Suggestion has been unsuccessful
If your suggestion is turned down by the Panel, the application will proceed no further. Unsuccessful proposals cannot be reconsidered until ten years have passed from the date of rejection.
Once a proposal has reached the top of the shortlist, it is passed to an English Heritage historian who will undertake detailed research.
This pays particular attention to the various London addresses associated with the proposed person or place, in order to find the most appropriate location for commemoration. An inscription is then composed, and a position for the plaque on the chosen building suggested.
The historian's findings are considered by the Blue Plaques Panel, which may suggest changes to details such as the inscription before the work is endorsed.
Consents and Installation
Once detailed research has been finalised and approved, the Blue Plaques Team contacts the owners of the chosen building and asks whether they are happy to grant their consent to the blue plaque. Listed Building Consent may also be necessary.
The process of seeking owner consents can sometimes be lengthy.
Only if these consents are granted can the plaque go ahead at the chosen address. If consent of either type is refused an alternative address might be sought, if appropriate.
If consents are received, a plaque design is produced, and the plaque is manufactured, a process which takes about two months, and then installed, after which it might be formally unveiled.