How we choose our buildings

There many stages to rescuing a building at risk and turning it into a Landmark that’s available to everyone for holidays. The funds to make this happen must be raised entirely through donations. Much of this is donated by our supporters; we also work hard to raise money from trusts and foundations and other sources. 

Landmark very rarely buys buildings, and then only when a building’s exceptional importance and peril unlock external funding to pay for its purchase. We very rarely act as a letting agent for buildings owned or restored by others (we are a building preservation charity first and foremost, not a holiday letting company).

 

Initial approach

There are three key criteria to be met for us to rescue a building for use as a Landmark:

  1. Is it important, and does it help Landmark represent the full breadth of British history and culture?
  2. Does it need us – can it only survive with our help?
  3. Is it somewhere nice to spend a holiday – once restored, can we make it financially sustainable?

We consider all types and ages of buildings. We also regularly review the Heritage at Risk Registers to identify target categories of at-risk buildings especially likely to be suitable for Landmark use. Our 2021 review has prompted us to look out especially for:

  • Small and significant industrial buildings
  • 20th century military structures
  • Seaside and leisure buildings
  • Small vernacular buildings
  • Buildings connected to urban regeneration and/or in historic town centres

We will go wherever a building’s need is greatest, but we are particularly on the lookout for projects in the North and in the Central & East Midlands, where we are currently less represented than other parts of England. We are also keen to broaden the cultural representation of our buildings.

For the most frequently asked questions about how we choose our buildings please click here

If you believe your building meets our criteria and you would like us to consider it as a Landmark property, please email a few photos of its current condition and a brief description of its circumstances and why it needs our help to Alastair Dick-Cleland on [email protected] or post them to our Head Office at Shottesbrooke.

Further information can be found here

Feasibility

If the site visit confirms the building’s potential for Landmark use, a Project Evaluation is commissioned. This gives a professional's view of the challenges of the project and a first estimate of cost.            

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Acquisition

We prefer freehold tenure, but many Landmarks are on long leases.
Negotiation is needed on terms, access and services.
Finally the building passes into our care.              

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Designing the scheme

The building is analysed, researched and recorded.
An architect is chosen and draws up preliminary plans for its conservation and, if necessary, adaptation.              

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The tender process

A quantity surveyor draws up a Bill of Quantities and contractors are invited to submit their bids for the restoration contract.              

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Fundraising

Often we need to raise substantial amounts from individuals, as well as drawing up detailed applications to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, statutory bodies, businesses and grant-making trusts.            

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Conservation and adaptation

Once the funding is in place the chosen contractor can finally move on site, supervised by one of our in-house Surveyors.
Main structural repairs are carried out. Often, the best-laid plans need adjustment as the building reveals its secrets.
Kitchens and bathrooms are installed and painting, staining and polishing carried out before furnishing.


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Furnishing

Much of the furniture is restored, adapted or specially made.
Standard items like sofas and kitchen equipment are delivered.
Curtains may be screen-printed with a motif from the building.
The furnishing team move in to furnish the building.           

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Operational Readiness

Our regional management team takes over the building, adding all the bits and pieces a guest might need in a Landmark and ensuring that everything works, all services are in place and that the building is ready for guests. Housekeepers are appointed from the local community. By this point, we will have already released bookings via the web and our Booking Office, with new photography, layout designs and guest information.

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Completion as a Landmark

The History Album is completed: a unique record of the building's history and restoration.
The first Landmarkers arrive for their holiday, their letting income supporting future maintenance. The building has been saved.