A Brief History

Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies

"The voice of the Civic Society movement in Yorkshire and The Humber"

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A Brief History


The Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies (YHACS) was established in November 1999. The aim of YHACS is to support, represent and promote civic societies in the Yorkshire & Humber region.

Civic societies are independent and voluntary groups of people who want to improve the environment in which they live. They aim to promote high standards of conservation and planning in our cities, towns and villages. Societies vary enormously in size, resources and ambition but tend to meet the challenge in similar ways. Many societies were formed in the 1960s and 1970s following unsatisfactory urban redevelopment.

Civic societies are often involved in a large number of activities; these can include:

By 1999 it was recognised by some far-sighted societies that they did not have the resources to address the regional agenda and that there would be merit in having an association for mutual support and co-operation. A major step forward for YHACS was the award of a grant from English Heritage in 2004 which enabled us to employ a part-time Association Development Officer. In the following years much good work was done to support the civic society movement, including the establishment of three new societies in Bradford, Sheffield and Barnsley. The latest YHACS initiative is Civic Societies Week which aims to raise the profile of civic societies across the region.

In the Yorkshire and Humber region, seventy-five civic societies were registered with the national umbrella organisation, the Civic Trust, from which they gained automatic membership of YHACS. In April 2009 the Civic Trust went into administration so societies could no longer derive their YHACS membership from being registered with the Trust. YHACS now requires societies to make an application to join and pay a £50 membership subscription. YHACS was independent of the Civic Trust and so was not directly affected by its demise although it had received a great deal of practical support from the parent body. From the ashes of the Civic Trust a new national body has been formed, 'Civic Voice', which YHACS supports and has now joined as a member.

Updated December 2012


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