Kent has rich historic and cultural environments that are important assets but are we doing enough to creatively manage them and to maximise the heritage potential for inward investment and building visitor economies?

As in many places, Kent suffers from modern day challenges of traffic, under-maintenance, and bland modern architecture that have undermined the potential and value of these special places. How can the 21st Century Conservation Area change and develop? How can new designs add to the character and identity of the place? How can historical and cultural assets be managed and sustained through creative re-use? What is the role of designers in heritage and culture-led re-presentation of places? What new forms of collaboration can maximise the potential of historic and cultural places? These are some of the questions this conference aims to explore.

We will hear from architects, conservation managers, landscape designers, brand specialists, planners and tourism strategists about how they plan, manage, sustain and design the heritage and cultural potential of place.

By the end of the Conference you will have:

  • Introduced to innovative ways of managing heritage and cultural assets to support inward investment and tourism
  • Examined local examples where context, creativity of design and new cultural uses have enhanced the identity of a place
  • Understood the process of re-presenting a place through heritage and culture
  • Informed on how to plan for change in Conservation Areas with a focus on assessing new designs in historic fabrics
  • Understood the collaborations necessary to bring about positive change in areas of historical and cultural interest

Speakers confirmed:

Dr Andy Brown, Planning Director, Historic England in the South East
John Worthington MBE, The Independent Transport Commission
David Hills, Director, DSDHA
Chris Bearman, Partner, Allies and Morrison
Ben Found, Senior Archaeological Officer, Heritage Conservation, Kent County Council
Martin Hall, Environmental Consultant with Medway Council
Richard Holdsworth MBE, Preservation and Education Director, Chatham Historic Dockyard
Sophie Jeffrey, Creative Producer, The New Carnival Company CIC
Peter Bettley, Executive in the Private Office of Sir Roger De Haan
John Barber, Board Member, Folkestone Festival
Simon Harrison, Head of Design, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
Leanne Tritton, Founder and Managing Director, Ing Media
John Rushton, Chairman, Small Back Room

For this event we can offer a 50% charitable discount on ticket prices to individuals, societies and civic groups. Please email for your online discount code.

This event is free for Kent Design members within their membership package allocation. Members can book places by emailing

Non members (or KD members wishing to book more than two places) will be charged £145+VAT per place. Non-members can book online

Interested in finding out about other Kent Design events? Click here