Durham WHS Co-ordinator seeks advice from colleagues

consultation, News, Opportunities, Uncategorized

Dear All,

As a relative newcomer to the WHS family, I wonder if I could ask for your experience/advice?

Have any of you have had occasion to comment on planning applications within your WHS or Setting which have the potential to negatively impact on the OUV. If so, what channels did you use and what was your experience of the process?

If you have some experience you can share, please contact me at p.j.gibson@durham.ac.uk.

Many thanks for your help and advice.

Jane Gibson

Durham World Heritage Site Co-ordinator

Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre

7, Owengate,



Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 3803

Mobile: 07805741211

Help us celebrate our 30th Birthday in 2016

World Heritage Sites and property prices

News, Uncategorized

References to research by property website Zoopla, showing property values in and near World Heritage Sites in the UK, can be found in the following media articles:



Emscher Landshaftpark, Germany

Industrial Heritage Conference 2015 1-2 December 2016, Manchester

News, Opportunities

Industrial Heritage Conference 2015 1-2 December 2016, Manchester

Following a campaign by a network of organisations involved in the conservation, protection, promotion and conversion of historic industrial sites, the Council of Europe has declared 2015 as European Industrial and Technical Heritage (EITH) Year.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Historic England (HE) and The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) are organising an event to tie in with EITH 2015.

The central theme is re-use, with a focus on developing new uses for vacant, at-risk industrial buildings by connecting them to creative industries businesses, developers, investors, other commercial opportunities and community-led/not-for-profit organisations.

Historic buildings help to provide diversity in the nature and affordability of commercial floorspace. They are adaptable, flexible spaces, often with lower rents, and are crucial to the development of new industries, particularly creative and the knowledge economy. Creative companies largely want to work in premises near other like-minded enterprises, often in mixed-use, independent, adaptable, flexible spaces which can offer attractively-low rents.

This approach is embodied in places like London’s Shoreditch and Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Equally, industrial buildings can easily be converted to residential use, providing different typology and identity.

We’re delighted that the conference will be held at Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). The Museum is housed in the former Liverpool Road Stations, one of Manchester’s most important and historic sites.

The conference will explore the theme of re-use of industrial heritage. The event will be split into two days, each with a slightly different focus:

  • Day One will explore the role of the public sector in encouraging the creative reuse of industrial heritage and commercial opportunities presented by historic buildings, with a focus on creative industries, development and regeneration uses. It aims to connect with businesses, investors and local/national decision makers.
  • Day Two will explore opportunities to develop new uses and engage with commercial partners to leverage investment and funding with a focus on not-for-profit groups, community organisations, heritage sector partners and historic building owners.

You can find all the details and book on the website: http://ih2015.org.uk/


Building peace in the minds of men and women; #solidarite


Building peace in the minds of men and women

The UNESCO website makes it very clear that this commitment – building peace in the minds of men and women – is at the very foundation of the United Nations, established after the horrors of World War Two.

UNESCO was created as part of this new UN, and stated the following in its constitution “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed”. It goes on to say that “a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind”.

So in essence, UNESCO was created because it was viewed that politics and economics are not enough to build a lasting peace, and that it must be based on “humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.”

While trying to digest Friday’s atrocity in Paris over the weekend, it was very clear to me and anyone looking at the news or on social media that people everywhere want to play their part, express their support, and show their solidarité for the people of Paris and France.

I have been involved in the management of a World Heritage Site for over 10 years now, and it was only over this weekend that for the first time I made this link between our role and the fundamental mission of UNESCO, and that word, ‘solidarity’ was at the heart of it; “humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.”

I can understand if you ask, what have World Heritage Sites got to do with Friday’s events? In themselves, absolutely nothing, but within this context of UNESCO’s mission, and the fact that the designations are UNESCO designations, surely there are ways in which World Heritage Sites can be more proactively used as forces for peace in the world – even if only as flag bearers for the wider aims of UNESCO, and the wider goals that it can achieve.

UNESCO say “Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.” We have seen recently the global outcry at the desecration of Palmyra. Looking deeper, perhaps part of the reasons for its destruction was because it was thought to be a symbol whose damage would send a strong message to the world. Conversely, its destruction has been a very tangible act which people can relate to – someone said to me that would be like ‘blowing up Stonehenge’, and you can imagine the response that would bring in the UK.

The World Heritage Convention also indicates that the unique nature of the concept is its “universal application” and that Sites “belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.” This simple statement gives us a tangible means to bind ourselves together – all 191 states who have signed up to the convention.

So, coming back to UNESCO – they say that their mission is the following, and I have highlighted certain areas that have a resonance with World Heritage:

  • In a globalized world with interconnected societies, intercultural dialogue is vital if we are to live together while acknowledging our diversity
  • In an uncertain world, the future of nations depends not only on their economic capital or natural resources, but on their collective ability to understand and anticipate changes in the environment – through education, scientific research and the sharing of knowledge.
  • In an unstable world – marked by fledgling democratic movements, the emergence of new economic powers and societies weakened by multiple stress factors – the educational, scientific and cultural fabric of societies – along with respect for fundamental rights – guarantees their resilience and stability.

Looking at this gives me a little hope that our national and global networks of outstanding places might be able to play a role, albeit probably a small one when dwarfed with the collective power of people and governments, in helping meet these laudable aims. It is probably by working with people and with governments that this may happen, and I sincerely hope that it can for whilst the World Heritage Convention is arguably doing a good job at conserving our cultural and natural heritage for future generations, is it helping to meet its wider role within UNESCO?

As for what to do, I don’t have the answers, but I urge all of you involved in World Heritage to bring this wider mission to the front of your minds, consider it in your plans, your hopes and your aspirations for your World Heritage Sites, and be bold.

As I finish writing this I have noticed on the twitter hashtag #solidarite that Durham Cathedral and St Georges Hall Liverpool, both constituent parts of World Heritage Sites, have lit up their buildings with the tricolor to show their solidarity with France. Perhaps my hope is not unfounded!



Sam Rose


World Heritage UK Conference presentations and Minister’s video: Saltaire 2015

Conference, Conference Saltaire October 2015, Downloads, Events, News


The first WH:UK Conference took place in elegant Victoria Hall, in the World Heritage Site of Saltaire, Bradford, on October 14th & 15th 2015.  This post gives the presentations from the 2 day event.  Photos can be seen on a different post, here, and  the outputs from the workshop sessions and participant feedback will be posted shortly.

Final programme

The final programme for the event can be found here.


Please remember that the copyright of presentations and content lies with the authors, so please contact them should you wish to use any material contained therein. 

Day 1

Sam Rose, Chair, WH:UK.  Opening remarks
Sam Rose speech 2015 final

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Heritage and Tourism

Peter Debrine, Programme Specialist Sustainable Tourism, UNESCO
Peter de Brine UNESCO

James Beresford, CEO Visit England
James Berresford Visit England

Professor Mike Robinson, Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham
Mike Robinson Part of Something Really Special

Sue Davies, Canadian Rockies Case Study
Sue Davies Canadian Rockies

Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive Officer – Tourism and Marketing for Wales at The Welsh Government
Manon Antoniazzi Welsh Government

Dr Sam Rose, Jurassic Coast WHS Manager
Sam Rose Jurassic Coast Case Study

Helen Manlagen, Chair, Culture Ctte, Uk National Commission for UNESCO
Helen Maclagen UKNC UNESCO

Remi Delaplanque, Châteaux de la Loire network
Remi Deleplanque Loire Valley

Day 2

Deborah Boden, WHS Coordinator, Cornish and West Devon Mining Landscapes
Deborah Boden Cornish Mining WHS Tourism Oct 2015

Adam Wilkinson, Chief Executive, Edinburgh World Heritage
Adam Wilkinson City of Edinburgh

Max Bryant, National Trust General Manager, North Coast, Northern Ireland
Max Bryant Giant’s Causeway


Attendees list

The final participant list is available here.


Our thanks to Bradford City Council, Historic England, the Victoria Hall staff, our Tour Guides and all participants for coming along and making it such an enjoyable and stimulating event.


Culture White Paper – wake the sleeping giants of world Heritage

consultation, Events, News

As you may already know, the Government is preparing to launch a Culture White paper sometime in the coming months. They have said that they want to hear from the people, so bearing in mind what was said at the recent conference, this is a very opportune time to raise the voice of World Heritage.

They have identified four broad themes…

“The first of these is the role that culture plays in creating places that people want to live, work and visit. How can our culture and heritage contribute to vibrant, healthy communities across the country, and how can we in Government support them to do that.

The second theme will focus on building financial resilience in cultural organisations and institutions through new funding models, to enable them to survive and prosper in a tough economic and financial climate.

Our third theme is about people and how they engage with culture. How do we ensure that everyone can learn about and through culture, and get the right encouragement and opportunities to experience and participate in cultural activities throughout their lives.

And finally, theme four explores working with our cultural institutions to promote Britain abroad, in our relations with other countries and international organisations, and to support trade, exports, inward investment, inbound tourism and presentation of cultural artefacts.”

.. and all of these relate to World Heritage.

The link for this is http://dcmsblog.uk/2015/09/share-your-ideas-for-a-new-cultural-programme/ and particularly, they have an engagement page at https://dcms.dialogue-app.com/

So if you feel passionately about our World Heritage, please do log-on, have a look and have your say. Please feel free to share any comments on twitter with #ourculture and @worldheritageuk or share your comments with us by commenting on this blog entry.