English Heritage has suspended its blue plaque memorial scheme following cuts to its government funding.
Since it began in 1866, the scheme, which commemorates the link between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked, has paid tribute to actors including Ira Aldridge, David Garrick and Richard Burton.
However, English Heritage has said that cuts to its funding from the government, which will reduce its budget from £130 million in 2010/11 to £92 million by 2014/15, has forced it to close the initiative to new applications for the next two years.
During this time, English Heritage will develop “a new and cost-effective approach” to the scheme, which costs £250,000 a year.
In the meantime, the organisation has said it will continue to erect blue plaques that have already been agreed. It is anticipated that a minimum of 12 will be placed over the next two years.
However, a spokeswoman for English Heritage said this is less than the number normally put up annually. Last year, a total of 11 plaques were installed.
English Heritage has managed the London-wide scheme since 1986 and since then has erected more than 350 plaques. There are now more than 850 such signs in the capital.
Last year, singer and pianist Leslie Hutchinson, who died in 1969, was commemorated with a blue plaque at 31 Steele’s Road, Chalk Farm, which was his home from 1929 to 1967.
Other buildings marked with blue plaques include 19 Campden Hill Gardens in Holland Park, which was home to Marie Rambert, founder of Ballet Rambert, and 15a Grafton Street in Mayfair, which was home to Henry Irving from 1872 to 1899.