Saltaire Plan wins Royal Town Planning Institute Award for Planning Excellence

The recently revised Saltaire World Heritage Site Management Plan has won the RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2015. The Award was made at the annual RTPI Annual Lecture in Leeds Civic Hall on July 23rd.The award is made for “excellence in a project which shows originality, regional significance and leadership”. Bradford’s entry – the revised World Heritage Site Management Plan for Saltaire was judged on issues such as sustainable development, good practice, community involvement and planning content.Winning this award is a clear demonstration of the quality of the work being done to manage this prestigious World Heritage Site for the people of Saltaire, Bradford, the UK and the World.

The Plan was approved by Bradford Council’s Executive Committee back in December 2014 and by the Government and UNESCO early this year.

Council Officers are working towards all the Plan’s projects and goals for improvements in the World Heritage Site in the short term and for up to 30 years ahead. The Plan contains all the relevant planning policy, practice and guidance for residents, businesses and developers wanting to develop their property or land in or near the World Heritage Site.

PhD opportunity at the Ironbridge Institute: Tourism and World Heritage

News, Opportunities

Please see the link below for details of a fully funded AHRC PhD opportunity at the Ironbridge Institute. The PhD will focus specifically on Tourism and World Heritage and will use the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site  as a case study. The full time PhD includes tuition fees and an annual stipend and is based at the University of Birmingham main campus. Please note that as per AHRC guidelines, applicants should be UK residents (EU applicants are eligible for a fees-only studentship) .

Please pass on to anyone who you think may be interested and queries for this opportunity should contact Dr John Carman:

World Heritage Tourism: Unlocking the Potential. World Heritage UK’s inaugural conference October 14th and 15th, Saltaire

Conference, Conference Saltaire October 2015, Events, News

It gives me great pleasure to announce details of World Heritage UK’s inaugural conference taking place in Saltaire World Heritage Site on October 14th-15th 2015

Saltaire from canal - Copyright

Saltaire from canal – Copyright

This conference will be the first opportunity for many years for all parts of the World Heritage community to get together to explore a specific theme relevant to all of the UK’s existing and prospective WH Sites, that of World Heritage tourism.

The programme is currently being finalised, but at this stage, we are delighted to announce the following speakers:

Rt. Hon Tracey Crouch MP Minister for Sport, Tourism & Heritage (appearing by video only)
Peter Debrine, Programme Specialist: Sustainable Tourism UNESCO
James Berresford Chief Executive of Visit England
Prof. Mike Robinson Professor of Cultural Heritage Director, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage
and a range of speakers from our own Sites, and from all four home nations.  A full draft programme is available here: Saltaire Conference Draft Programme 18 Sep 2015

In addition to the speakers, there will be time for networking, displays, a reception from the Lord Mayor of Bradford, a choice of tours and of course, the conference dinner in one of Bradford’s finest curry houses.

The conference will be taking place within the Saltaire World Heritage Site near Bradford in Yorkshire, and will be from 9am on the 14th Oct to 3.15pm on the 15th October 2015.

To book, please go to where you will find all of the details.

Conference fees will vary depending on membership status,  If you or your organisation is not yet a member of World Heritage UK and you would like to take advantage of the free ticket offer, please go to Join here for more information on how to sign up.  Voting member organisations have one free place at this year’s event and discounted rates for additional attendees.

For any queries or further information about the event, please contact

And finally, please could you forward this information to anyone who you think may be interested in this event. We need our World Heritage community to spread the word and really make this inaugural conference a success.

Many thanks and I look forward to seeing you there

Sam Rose
World Heritage UK Shadow Chair, on behalf of the board and the very hard-working conference committee


The Forth Bridge World Heritage Site: from Historic Scotland’s man in Bonn


Mark Watson from Historic Scotland talks about his experience at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Bonn representing the newly inscribed Forth Bridge World Heritage Site.

The World Heritage Committee met in Bonn, Germany, in July 2015. It was fascinating to see the relish with which diplomats use cultural and natural heritage to achieve soft, sometimes not so soft, diplomacy. There was a little contretemps about the place of human rights in the World Heritage Committee (properly affirmed by Portugal) and some depressing scenes from Yemen, Syria and Iraq, the latter subject of a UNESCO publication.

Each day saw a regular good natured demo by Greenpeace in respect of two natural sites, Wrangel Island and the Great Barrier Reef, and also one mounted by Koreans. The Operational Guidelines were reviewed line by line (e.g. to achieve gender equality, taking out all references to mankind, except in relation to man-made disasters) and the second cycle of periodic reporting concluded with the completion of the European and North American reports, with Chris Young now at the helm.

The Committee discussed and then included 24 cultural, one mixed and two natural sites in the World Heritage List, others being rejected, deferred, referred or having boundaries changed. It is noticeable that the committee, formed by states’ parties, if faced with a recommendation for deferral, often edged it into referral, or for referral, would often push it up to inscription. Some members were happy to acknowledge having recently visited a nominated site on the other side of the world.

In respect of the Forth Bridge, Historic Scotland wrote the nomination in consultation with the Forth Bridges Forum , comprising local authorities, community councils and others, and was represented in Bonn by Miles Oglethorpe and myself. Network Rail, Transport Scotland, Historic England, DCMS and DFID (the UK Ambassador to UNESCO) were also represented.

Comments from the Committee included:

“The Nomination should serve as an example. It is short, precise and convincing” (said Germany);

we are inspired and encouraged to see the possibilities of such a significant site as the Forth Bridge on the world heritage list” (Jamaica):

an outstanding structure of the 19th century, an example of human ingenuity and labour. We further congratulate the UK for the conservation of this bridge that allows continuous use since its inauguration in 1890. The World Heritage will certainly be improved with the inscription of the Forth Bridge” (Portugal).

On successful listing, Marco Biagi, Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment in the Scottish Government,  presented a very apposite two-minute speech, and this, the first UK inscription since 2009, was greeted with relief by all concerned.

You might like to see the Youtube film of the session, which is
The Forth Bridge comes up 2 hours 25 minutes in.

More details on the UNESCO website can be seen here The Forth Bridge (United Kingdom)



For interest, Michelle Thompson MP (Edinburgh, SNP) has submitted an EDM supporting the Bridge WH listing. The 39 signatories so far listed include some interesting names such as Peter Grant and Alex Salmond. I would expect the list to grow to a minimum of 65 given that all of the 56 SNP MPs are likely to sign up and there are already 9 signatories from other parties with many more expected.  Early Day Motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. EDMs allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause. MPs register their support by signing individual motions. The more that sign up, the greater the chance that the matter will be debated in the chamber.

WH Committee meeting in Bonn Icomos presents Forth Bridge at Bonn 2015 mw (2)


Meet Chris Mahon, World Heritage UK’s new Development Director



Great to be in post as World Heritage UK’s new Development Director! My name is Chris Mahon and I started work last week. My interview for this contract was in Lyme Regis, in the beautiful Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site. Though I had been there before in my youth, it was good to see the Jurassic Coast again professionally and meet some of the people involved in its management.  I’m really looking forward to working with members of the World Heritage community and visiting some of the other World Heritage Sites on the UK list – I think I have been to half of them over the years.

By way of a background introduction, I’ve been around the conservation sector since 1990 when I graduated in Environmental Science. I’ve worked in a local authority, managed a wildlife trust and now lead the UK Committee of an international environmental network and coordinate a small charity. Developing World Heritage UK fits snugly into this portfolio and I aim to demonstrate some positive results helped by my previous experience.

I will be working three days a week initially, assisting the Board in developing the organisation, primarily by growing its membership, improving communications, networking and advocacy, securing a financial future, supporting event management and other promotional activity. I have already advanced the contacts database – if you want to be on it, let me have your details!

The next task is to promote the World Heritage UK inaugural conference, which, if you don’t know, Is on the 14th and 15th of October 2015 at the Saltaire World Heritage Site near Bradford in Yorkshire. The theme is ‘World Heritage Tourism – unlocking the potential’ and should be a great event with speakers such as the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Tracey Crouch, the Peter DeBrine from UNESCO in Paris, and Director of Visit England, James Beresford.

Tickets will be on sale this week, so watch this space and I look forward to meeting you there.

Chris Mahon

Chris Mahon




News, Opportunities

The Welsh Government through Cadw and key partners require suitably qualified/experienced specialist advisors to support the preparation of a new long-term management plan for the The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd (WHS).

The successful applicants will act as key facilitators in programmed consultation events, capture and synthesise key issues, lead on the drafting of relevant material and the preparation of the final management plan to draft design stage for publication.

Please find the relevant Invitation To Quote information (including specification) on the attached documents.

Please contact Laurence Smith for further information:

Specification doc for Edwardian Castles Management Plan final ITQ letter for specialist support in preparing Edwardian Castles Management Plan Final sent vers

ITQ letter for specialist support in preparing Edwardian Castles Management Plan Final sent vers


Mae Llywodraeth Cymru drwy Cadw a phartneriaid allweddol yn chwilio am ymgynghorwyr arbenigol cymwysedig/profiadol er mwyn cefnogi’r gwaith o baratoi cynllun rheolaeth newydd ar  gyfer STB Cestyll a Muriau Trefi y Brenin Edward yng Ngwynedd.

Bydd yr ymgeiswyr llwyddiannus yn chwarae rôl allweddol gan hwyluso nifer o ddigwyddiadau ymgynghori, casglu a chrynhoi prif faterion, arwain ar waith drafftio a pharatoi’r cynllun rheolaeth hyd at ddraft terfynol  ar gyfer cyhoeddiad.

Gweler manylion Gwahoddiad i Ymgeisio (gan gynnwys y briff) drwy ddilyn y linc canlynol :

Cysylltwch gyda Laurence Smith am fwy o wybodaeth:


The Forth Bridge becomes Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site


Hot off the press, the World Heritage Committee in Bonn today inscribed the Forth Bridge onto the World Heritage List.  Their summary of the site is

“This railway bridge spanning the estuary of the Forth River in Scotland is the world’s longest multi-span cantilever bridge. It opened in 1890 and continues to carry passengers and freight. Its distinctive industrial aesthetic is the result of a forthright and unadorned display of its structural components. Innovative in style, materials and scale, the Forth Bridge is an important milestone in bridge design and construction during the period when railways came to dominate long-distance land travel.”

We hope to get more details from the Forth Bridge team soon, but it is a good day for Scotland’s and the UK’s World Heritage Sites,

Forth Bridge Copyright Historic Scotland

Copyright Historic Scotland