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Plans to expand official blue plaque scheme beyond London

The official blue plaque scheme could soon be expanded beyond London to include all of England, under new plans.

While eye-catching plates commemorating famous and notable historical figures can currently be seen on buildings and dwellings in towns and cities across the UK, the official scheme is London-only.

The capital’s scheme was launched in 1866, with those in the rest of the country managed through various local bodies.

But there is now a move to create an official England-wide system, with the House of Lords set to debate an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to change the current capital-only approach.

The amendment is being tabled by arts and culture minister Lord Parkinson and is also backed by Baroness Pinnock and Lord Mendoza.

Lord Parkinson said: “London’s blue plaques are world renowned. For over 150 years they have helped to celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of our capital city and the people who have passed through it.

“But people everywhere should be able to celebrate the figures who have shaped their community – which is why we are seeking to extend this opportunity across the country, to allow people and buildings from anywhere in England to be nominated.

“I encourage people to get thinking about who has helped to define their community and makes them proud of where they live so that their impact on their home area, as well as the wider world, can be recognised and celebrated.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Historic England and English Heritage will together develop a new wider scheme.