How should heritage assets be valued?

Heritage assets are assets with historical, artistic, scientific, technological, geophysical or environmental qualities that are held and maintained for their contribution to knowledge and culture. Heritage assets advance the preservation, conservation and educational objectives of charities and through public access contribute to the nation’s culture and education either at a national or local level. They can include the land, buildings, structures, collections, exhibits or artefacts.

Newly purchased heritage assets should be initially measured and recognised at cost. Donated heritage assets should be recognised at their fair value where practicable. Where heritage assets were acquired in the past, it may be difficult or costly to attribute a cost or value to them. In such cases these assets may be excluded from the balance sheet if reliable cost information is not available and conventional valuation approaches lack sufficient reliability. The notes should contain an analysis or narrative that enables the user to appreciate the age, scale and nature of the heritage assets held and the use made of them. All charities recognising heritage assets must also provide a five year summary of heritage asset transactions.

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Joanna Pittman

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Fleur Holden

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