A man in a suit and tie stood at an open window, turned to look at a heritage blue plaque on a wall next to him
Robert Steele, Ms Steele's son, takes in the blue plaque honouring the life and work of his mother. © Historic England.
Robert Steele, Ms Steele's son, takes in the blue plaque honouring the life and work of his mother. © Historic England.

How to Make a Nomination

The national blue plaque scheme is now open for public nominations. Tell us who you think deserves to be recognised with a prestigious national blue plaque.

This is your opportunity to suggest someone you feel should be honoured with a national blue plaque.

The scheme is open for nominations from across England (excluding Greater London, as English Heritage run the blue plaque scheme in the capital).

Who to nominate

We are looking for nominations for people who have made an exceptional impact in their field, community or wider society. They do not have to be famous or currently well-known, but they do need to fit with our overall aims and criteria for the scheme.

The key criteria include:

  • At least 20 years must have passed since the candidate’s death
  • They must have made a significant contribution to human welfare or happiness; and/or to have made an exceptional impact in their field, community or on society at large
  • At least 1 building in England associated with the figure must survive in a form that the commemorated person would have recognised, and it must be visible from the public highway

Read the full eligibility criteria

We are seeking nominations of people from all walks of life, throughout history. Your nomination could help raise the profile of individuals who have achieved great things and deserve to be better known.

How to nominate

To submit your nomination, please read the full eligibility criteria and guidance notes and then complete the online form below.

Submit your nomination

It is important that you read the eligibility criteria and guidance notes before submitting your application. This will help you prepare the information you need and could also help your nomination progress through the selection process by providing relevant details.

The 2024 deadline for nominations is 23:59 on Friday 19 July. We will not be able to accept any nominations after this date.

How nominations are selected

Your nomination must first meet the eligibility criteria. If it does, it will move forward into the research stages, where historians and Historic England staff will assess it.

The final stage is that it will be presented to the national blue plaques panel, which will decide which nominations to pursue.

Please see our FAQs section below for more information on the application process.

We are dedicated to ensuring a diversity of nominations. If you are a community group or organisation, you may be interested in applying for a Community Research Grant to research someone from your community in preparation for submitting a nomination in next year’s call for public nominations.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What to know before you nominate

This year’s call for public nominations is open for 8 weeks, with nominations closing at 23:59 on Friday 19 July 2024.

You can nominate using the button to the nomination form in the 'How to nominate' section further up this page.

To be awarded a national blue plaque, the person being nominated must have died at least 20 years ago.

Your nominated candidate could be a household name or less well-known, but must have made a significant contribution to human welfare or happiness. You can find out much more detail about who can receive a plaque on our eligibility criteria and guidance page.

A significant contribution to human welfare or happiness means that the person’s work, in any field, has had an exceptional impact on a community or society at large.

The 3 national blue plaques erected during the scheme’s demonstrator stage give examples of this:

  • Daphne Steele made history by becoming the first Black matron in the National Health Service in 1964
  • Clarice Cliff was a working-class factory worker who became one of the best-known ceramic designers of the 20th century working as an art director in Stoke-on-Trent potteries
  • George Harrison was a music icon, songwriter and humanitarian who rose to international fame as a member of The Beatles

You can find out more by reading our eligibility and guidance page.

We are only accepting nominations for individuals in our 2024 call for nominations. In the future, we plan to accept nominations for duos, groups, societies, organisations and historical events. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news about this.

English Heritage runs the blue plaque scheme in the capital. To submit a nomination in London, please visit the English Heritage website.

Nomination process

We’ve designed the form to be quick and easy to complete. Before you start your nomination, please read the eligibility criteria and guidance to ensure that you have all the information needed before you begin.

As part of the nomination process, we ask you to provide the address of a property associated with the candidate. You don’t need to submit documentation, but if your nomination is shortlisted, we may contact you for more information. Please read the eligibility criteria and guidance about properties before you begin your nomination.

Plaques need to be on surviving buildings where there is evidence that the nominee spent time there.

This could be where they were born, worked, lived, or died. The building needs to be in existence, and enough of it needs to remain for it to be recognisable to the candidate if they were alive today.

We want people to see the plaque and learn about the connection between the person and place, so the building also needs to be visible from the street or public highway.

Yes. You will be able to click 'save' and receive an email with a link to access your form. You can only do this when your nomination form is in progress. Once you submit your nomination form, you will not be able to access or edit it.

No. You can take as long as you need and save your answers if you want to start a nomination and complete it later.

However, you will need to submit your nomination by 23:59 on Friday 19 July 2024, when the nomination process closes.

We are unable to send you a copy of your completed nomination form, so we recommend that you copy and save your answers to a Word document before you submit your form. Once you submit your form, you will not be able to access it again.

Selection process

We expect to be able to update everyone who has completed the nomination form in autumn 2024. We will let you know if your nomination has been shortlisted. However, please note that this is the first year we’ve run the national blue plaque scheme, and we may have to adjust timings due to demand.

Historic England staff and heritage representatives from other organisations will first sift your nomination. A long list of applications will then be researched by national blue plaque historians.

If the research shows a viable opportunity to erect a plaque, the nominee will be advanced to the national blue plaques panel, which will agree on which nominations to take forward.

The final step is ensuring that permissions are in place to erect a plaque.

The Historic England national blue plaque scheme will run alongside the well-established English Heritage London blue plaque scheme. It is essentially 1 programme delivered by 2 organisations. Both schemes use the same eligibility criteria.

After the selection process

The scheme will be open to public nominations annually, with the next nominations opening around May 2025. Please sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with the next call for nominations.

We plan to erect 6 to 8 plaques a year. If the panel selects your nomination for a national blue plaque, and our research shows that we have the correct permissions to erect a plaque, we will inform you of unveiling dates.

Please see our page on Community Research Grants for more information. The application process for grants closes at 23:59 on Friday 5 July 2024.