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Culture White paper – your input needed

February 2, 2016 Published by Beth Thomas

We have rather belatedly caught up with the Culture White Paper process, and although the consultation seems to have been mainly in 2015, we have been assured by DCMS that as long as we get a letter to Ed Vaizey by the 3rd week of Feb, our views will be included.

There is little clarity as to what the White Paper actually is. It seems to be more of a discussion, prior to a document, which is in itself no bad thing, and is set out around the following 4 themes:

1)    Places: how culture helps to create places that are attractive and vibrant and how we will support places that want to use culture to drive development and regeneration. This section will cover how heritage is protected, managed, and made accessible; the diversity of heritage; heritage’s contribution to the economy and general wellbeing and the benefits of strategic investment in heritage.

2)    People: how culture benefits people in their individual and everyday lives, how we will improve access and participation, and use culture in wider social agendas, such as education, health and well-being. This section will cover heritage participation; heritage education programmes; the sector’s digital offer; and heritage crime.

3)    Funding: how government will help and support cultural organisations to increase philanthropy and access funding from new sources, and reform public bodies to ensure they are fit for the future. This section will cover Heritage at Risk; grant schemes; the role of the HLF, new ways of working and opportunities for philanthropy.

4)    Cultural Diplomacy: how culture contributes to the UK’s international reputation and soft power and how we will build on the current position to ensure that culture continues to support and contribute to our trade, exports and influence. This section will cover world heritage sites; underwater cultural heritage; the promotion of the value of cultural heritage; Britain’s heritage in the media; the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict and Illicit trade.

Whilst we (WH:UK) tried to get a place at a round table at the back end of 2015, this was not possible, and in fact most comments seemed to be invited through twitter and their blog. You can find more details at:

and a cursory google search (other search engines are available) will produce submissions etc.

So in order for WH:UK to write a meaningful letter, we need your input, and unfortunately, we need it quickly. If you are able, please could you write succint comments about the role that World Heritage Sites (as opposed to, but linked with, the whole heritage sector) can play in the four themes above. We will then distill this into something appropriate for a ministerial letter.

Please send your submissions to and the deadline is the end of next Monday (8th) please.

Many thanks

Sam Rose
World Heritage UK
Chair of Trustees