Derek Thomas MP puts West Cornwall's heritage on the map

On Tuesday 21st February, Derek Thomas MP for St Ives attended an event in Parliament hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to learn more about the impact of National Lottery investment in his constituency and where it ranked on the RSA’s 2016 Heritage Index.

Produced in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Heritage Index is an annual index that combines over 120 metrics, from historic buildings to local delicacies, revealing which local authorities are best at using heritage to foster a distinctive identity – and which could do better.

Analysis of this year’s index reveals that places which do most with their heritage have a higher quality of life (ONS well-being measures) than areas which have low levels of activity. As well as inherited physical assets such as battlefields and castles, the index measures new forms of heritage activity like community initiatives and volunteering.

Derek Thomas MP discovered that Cornwall sits in the 78th position overall, and that the area has potential to make much more of its heritage.

Derek Thomas MP said: “It was great to attend this event and hear more about West Cornwall's heritage assets and how they are being used by the community.  I would urge constituents to think about the local heritage where they live, and think about how they could apply to HLF to undertake a project to explore it further.”

This event was part of National Lottery in Parliament, an exhibition to raise awareness among politicians in Westminster of the National Lottery funding available to its constituencies and demonstrate how National Lottery players’ money is changing people’s lives and improving the nation’s wellbeing.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “Heritage is at the heart of what makes a place distinctive. The Heritage Index is a vital tool which is helping communities to better understand that heritage and tap into its vast potential. Securing National Lottery funding is one way of helping to fulfill that potential and it’s been making a difference to local communities across the UK for over 20 years.”

Since The National Lottery started in 1994, the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded almost £23 million to more than 150 projects in West Cornwall and on Scilly.

Find out more about the Heritage Index 2016 at the RSA’s here: Find out more about accessing National Lottery funding for heritage projects at


National Lottery Heritage Fund