The Prince of Wales corresponded with Secretaries of State at DCMS on Smithfield Market, historic sites and Shackleton and Scott’s huts.
The Prince of Wales’s Private Secretary invited the then Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, to speak at a conference organized by one of His Royal Highness’s charities. The Secretary of State had a prior engagement.
Parts of Smithfield Market, the only wholesale market that remains in its original location within the Square Mile of The City of London, were threatened with demolition. The General Market and Annexe buildings were in danger of being torn down.
During this time, several campaigns, promoted in particular by conservation group SAVE Britain’s Heritage, fought to ensure that this unique London landmark was preserved. Drawing a comparison with the longstanding derelict site at the Bishopsgate Goodsyard in East London, His Royal Highness added his voice to concerns about the future of the market.
Shackleton and Scott’s huts
The Prince contacted the Secretary of State after hearing that the future of huts built by the British polar explorers Scott and Shackleton was under threat. The structures contain thousands of unique artefacts, providing an enduring testimony to remarkable achievements of discovery and endurance and the associated tragedy.
All 4 huts are located within the Ross Sea Dependency, part of the Realm of New Zealand. However, the iconic huts are the product of British expeditions and are of great significance to British cultural heritage and are part of the shared history of Britain and New Zealand. In 2001, it was agreed that a major conservation programme was required if the huts were to survive for future generations.
In February 2007 the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office committed £250,000 to the restoration project. DCMS also asked Arts and Business, one of The Prince’s charities, to work with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust on their fundraising campaign.
Regeneration of historic sites
The Prince wrote to congratulate the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw MP, on his appointment and to suggest a discussion about the regeneration of redundant buildings of historic and architectural importance, which the Prince’s Regeneration Trust works to restore.