£1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions

Announcement, News, press release, Uncategorized

s300_CultureInv_GOV_UK

Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries will receive a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help weather the impact of coronavirus, the government announced today.

  • Future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will be protected with emergency grants and loans
  • Funding will also be provided to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic

Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.

The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic. It will help them stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.

Many of Britain’s cultural and heritage institutions have already received unprecedented financial assistance to see them through the pandemic including loans, business rate holidays and participation in the coronavirus job retention scheme. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began.

This new package will be available across the country and ensure the future of these multi billion-pound industries are secured.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.

This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.

Oliver Dowden Culture Secretary said

Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the lynchpin of our world-beating and fast growing creative industries.

I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations. Today we are announcing a huge support package of immediate funding to tackle the funding crisis they face. I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

Our world-renowned galleries, museums, heritage sites, music venues and independent cinemas are not only critical to keeping our economy thriving, employing more than 700,000 people, they’re the lifeblood of British culture.

That’s why we’re giving them the vital cash they need to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for.

The package announced today includes funding for national cultural institutions in England and investment in cultural and heritage sites to restart construction work paused as a result of the pandemic. This will be a big step forward to help rebuild our cultural infrastructure. This unprecedented package includes:

  • £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
  • £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
  • £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).

Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Repayable finance will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable. Further details will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:

Covid-19 has hit all sectors of our economy hard, including our heritage. The historic places that help define our country are at risk of being lost forever. This emergency funding package from the Government, including £50m for heritage put at risk during the pandemic, will be a lifeline for our sector, kickstarting repair works at our historic sites which matter most to local communities. It also helps the organisations which look after so many of our precious historic sites, and protects livelihoods of skilled craft workers and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. It will help to secure a sustainable future for the sector and those working in it, often with years of irreplaceable experience.”

UNESCO sites lead the way on sustainable development and create value for communities across the UK

Announcement, News, Uncategorized

Dorset and East Devon Coast

Published today (25 June 2020) by the UK National Commission for UNESCO, new research shows UNESCO projects can help build a greener, more equal and more peaceful world, while also creating financial value.

UK Government Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston MP said: “From Stonehenge to Jodrell Bank, our UNESCO sites tell the story of our shared history and attract visitors from all over the world. This research is testament to the important role these sites play in their local communities and, once it is safe to do so, we will be encouraging people to visit.”

UNESCO projects in the UK generate an estimated £151 million of financial benefit to local communities each year and help bring them together to protect and conserve some of the most important places across the country.

Set up as a specialised agency of the United Nations in the wake of the Second World War, UNESCO harnesses the power of education, culture, science, communication and information to advance global peace building, sustainable development, intercultural dialogue and the eradication of poverty.

From expansive mountain ranges in the Highlands of Scotland to densely populated urban areas such as Belfast, Bradford and Manchester, UNESCO certified projects include Global Geoparks, World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves and Creative Cities. The projects span 12% of the UK’s land area and comprise of partnerships between 1,300 organisations, charities, and businesses.

These partnerships are made mainly on a local level, between hundreds of groups all working together to support efforts in conservation, research, education, capacity building and tourism. This new research shows that continued investment in UNESCO projects is critical in helping the UK and devolved governments meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report is the first to examine the cultural, environmental and financial benefits to UK life from these diverse UNESCO projects, and their active contribution to the SDGs. Along with preserving precious landscapes, buildings and archives, UNESCO projects are also leading research on vital issues such as water scarcity, refugee integration, climate change and child literacy.

“This research shows the unique value offered by UNESCO projects in the UK. They embody community and enable us to preserve and enjoy our most special places and culture. They also pioneer solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems and inspire hope in these unprecedented times. Within this report are a number of case studies that can help inform the UK’s path towards a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.”

James Bridge, Secretary-General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO

Environment and Community

The research highlights the cultural, environmental and financial value of 76 UNESCO projects in the UK. It reveals a creative network rooted in community, rich in potential, and impacting lives here and around the world.

Examples of UNESCO projects with a positive impact on the environment and communities:

  • The Jurassic Coast Trust in Dorset is an umbrella organisation responsible for a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering 95 miles of beautiful coastline. The Trust believes the Jurassic Coast is best looked after by the people who visit it, use it and love it, and are focused as much on the people and communities as upon the rocks, landscape and fossils. They are working to ensure a financially sustainable coastline that is supported by a network of dedicated schools, community groups, volunteers and businesses.

“We are part of this huge global family of World Heritage Sites that celebrate these outstanding features, natural or cultural; it is a very powerful concept that these values transcend national and political boundaries.”

Anjana Khatwa, Programme Manager, Learning at the Jurassic Coast Trust.

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  • Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark is the first cross-border Geopark in the world, and crosses the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The geopark is dedicated to telling the story of our planet through its unique natural, cultural and geological heritage, and its cross-border nature forms a crucial part of the Geopark’s outreach and engagement programme. The Geopark Science Week brings 500 schoolchildren from both sides of the border together to study their shared geological heritage. Demand for the Science Week is high, but a lack of resources restricts the Geopark from hosting it more often.

“The job and excitement and delight when we present material to young people in a fashion that engages them – you can see that you are igniting that enthusiasm in them for our geological heritage and they want to find out more.”

Martina O’Neil, Marble Arch Caves Geopark Development Officer.  

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  • The Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has launched a badge with the UK’s Girlguiding charity. The initiative seeks to support girls and young women to get closer to nature, learn more about sustainability and tackle issues such as hunger, poverty, gender inequality and climate change.

“The badge encourages young members and leaders in our organisation to think about the world around them – to understand the meaning of ‘community’, get involved and make things better. If we can instil these thoughts and actions in our young people, it will make our Island and beyond a better place.”

Karen Walker, Commissioner of Girlguiding Isle of Man.

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  • The UNESCO trail in Scotland is a digital asset to be launched in partnership with VisitScotland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and Scotland’s UNESCO designations. The trail connects 13 UNESCO designations and aims to increase the value of tourism to these sites by encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more locally, improving, in turn, the quality of life of the local communities. The trail was due to be launched in early 2020 but has been delayed until after the coronavirus crisis.

“If we lost UNESCO status, what would make us different from any other community organisation? I feel that it gives me more confidence both to be entrepreneurial and to write a funding application. It’s not just us that thinks we’re special, the UN thinks that it’s special. It shows you that you’ve got the outside support – that something beyond the UK, Europe, globally, has said that “We believe that this organisation has the ability to manage this heritage and we believe that it’s special.”

Dr Laura Hamlet, Geopark Coordinator at the North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark

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  • The Dyfi UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Wales has been struggling to make the desired impact on the region and local communities. There is a commitment to celebrate and support the Welsh language and culture, but a lack of resources limits the necessary collaboration needed. Vital funding is essential to strengthen the network and support sustainable development, in line with Wales’ Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015.

“The visitors and potential visitors are an important audience but actually not really as important as the local community, including business. So, it’s critical for us that we have that sort of groundswell of support.”

Andy Rowland, Coordinator, Dyfi Biopshere Reserve

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“Particularly striking is how all designations place the community at the core of their work. Their commitment to UNESCO’s values and objectives means they share a strong interest in bringing people together to build and nurture meaningful relationships with nature, heritage and each other.”

2020 UNESCO National Value Report

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Economy

UNESCO World Heritage Sites rank among the most visited attractions in 2018 and are significant contributors to the UK economy. The research analysed the impact of being granted official UNESCO status, which has helped the 76 sites and projects surveyed generate an estimated £151 million to the UK economy in just one year.

However, the total figure disguises significant variations, even before the challenges brought by Covid-19. Some sites struggle to secure sufficient funding whether through tourism or other means, due to a low profile and lack of resources, and these problems will have been exacerbated during the lockdown. Investment in these sites is critical to increase cross-disciplinary work and enhance their contribution to the UK economy.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, said: “At a time when we all look for solutions to build more resilient societies after Covid-19, UNESCO sites offer a wealth of concrete actions to reinvent our relationship with nature, to develop decent jobs and foster social cohesion. This report by the UK National Commission to UNESCO is a blueprint for sustainability, and I believe all Countries can take inspiration from this research.”

World Heritage UK Chair’s Christmas message

Announcement, News, Uncategorized, World Heritage UK

Bath Abbey 006 (1)

On behalf of all the Board of Trustees at World Heritage UK,  I wish all our members, supporters and your families a very happy and restful Christmas.

2019 has been a busy year, set against a turbulent political back-drop and with the need to urgently address global environmental challenges which are undoubtedly becoming the defining issue of our age. We know through our networks the hard work that goes on every day at all of our 32 UK World Heritage Sites, often undertaken by just a few dedicated people and a pocketful of change. Hard work, creative minds and professional expertise then turn these ingredients into heritage protection and interpretation which is the envy of the world.

Christmas is a time for thankfulness and optimism. Perhaps we can look forward to a little more political stability in 2020?  …and maybe even the prospect of more funding?!  Whatever the New Year will bring, we will face it collectively with enthusiasm, mutual support and the knowledge that what we deliver, in conserving our irreplaceable cultural and natural heritage, is cherished by so many in this generation and those who will succeed us.  They can’t always say thank you for all that you do, but I can.

Happy Christmas!

Tony

Tony Crouch
Chair of Trustees
World Heritage UK

World Heritage UK wins National Lottery support

Announcement, Awards, communications, Fundraising, Jobs, News, Opportunities, press release, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage UK

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

World Heritage UK has received a National Lottery grant of £100,000 for its ‘Unlocking the Potential’ project. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the funding provides essential support to achieve World Heritage UK’s Vision, where ‘the UK will have a coherent approach to World Heritage Sites, which will be better known, understood, and supported through sustainable funding so they can provide inspiration, learning and enjoyment for society’.

The UK has 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which collectively tell our island story. They include Neolithic monuments, palaces, cathedrals, castles, entire cities, stunning natural coastline and pioneering industrial heritage. Individually they can be a challenge to manage, but as an outstanding collection World Heritage UK works to raise their profile, advocate for support and resource, promote their values and facilitate networking, training and sharing of good practice. Grant funding allows World Heritage UK to become more sustainable, strengthening the organisation with costs of new staff, professional guidance for improved governance, strategy and business development, fundraising, marketing, communication and training.

Tony Crouch giving talkWorld Heritage UK Chairman Tony Crouch said, “The UK is a world leader in terms of heritage management and our UNESCO World Heritage Sites need and deserve a strong body to help protect, promote and interpret our outstanding collection. World Heritage UK, with the valuable assistance of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, can step up and fully fulfil that role.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of National Lottery Heritage Fund West Midlands, said “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will help strengthen World Heritage UK and ensure that the county’s rich and fascinating heritage is better managed, protected and shared with local people and visitors.”

About World Heritage UK

cropped-newlogobeatnick-test.png     World Heritage UK (www.worldheritageuk.org) is a charitable organisation set up in 2015 to undertake networking, advocacy and promotion for the UK’s 31 outstanding World Heritage Sites, and the Tentative List Sites progressing towards UNESCO World Heritage Site status.  World Heritage UK evolved out of the Local Authority World Heritage Forum , which was established as a Local Government Association special interest group in 1995, and which did a great deal of positive action to support the UK’s sites.

World Heritage UK is the only organisation exclusively focused on World Heritage in the UK, and the only one led by the World Heritage Sites themselves, reflecting a community-driven approach that has proven effective at many sites and which is favoured by UNESCO.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund logoUsing money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund  

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Tony Crouch, World Heritage UK Chair, at  tony.crouch@worldheritageuk.org or call 07875 488803 or  Chris Mahon, World Heritage UK Development Director at chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org

UK withdrawal from UNESCO – World Heritage UK press statement

Announcement, News, press release, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Following newspaper reports concerning the UK’s continued membership of UNESCO, World Heritage UK are pleased to note the following reported clarification statement from the Department for International Development: “There has been no change to our funding commitment to Unesco. The UK is working closely with Unesco and other member states to ensure it makes crucial reforms to deliver the best results and value for taxpayers’ money.” (13 November 2018).   World Heritage UK understands that scrutiny of bodies such as UNESCO is a legitimate political duty, but we also have the utmost confidence that the economic, environmental and social benefit delivered by the UK’s 31 World Heritage Sites can be proven to withstand any such scrutiny. The UK is a world leader in terms of heritage management and the benefit that we gain from, and contribute to, delivery of the UNESCO Convention is substantial. The whole ethos of the Convention is one of global co-operation which is essential to tackle challenges to our unique cultural and natural heritage. Plastic in our oceans and international tourism pressures are examples of issues that nations cannot practically resolve alone.

DCMS Ministerial announcement on the Welsh Slate Industry today!

Advocacy, Announcement, Culture, DCMS Minister, Heritage, News, UNESCO, Wales, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

DCMS Heritage Minister Michael Ellis announced today that the Welsh Slate Mining Landscape bid can progress to nomination. Whilst there is still work to do, this is a huge hurdle cleared for the project. Pictured below at the House of Commons announcement are MP Liz Saville Roberts, Lord Dafydd Wigley, Minister Michael Ellis and Cllr Ioan Thomas.

Slate Industry Minister announcement

You can find more information on this UNESCO tentative list site at:   http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5678/

New Coordinator at the Flow Country Tentative List World Heritage Site

Announcement, Flow Country, Jobs, Nature, News, scotland, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Welcome to World Heritage, Joe Perry! The Peatlands Partnership has just appointed Joe as their World Heritage Site Officer to take forward the idea of The Flow Country in Sutherland and Caithness becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS).

Joe is moving to the Highlands from Glasgow where he been working as a Project Manager for an environmental tour and experiences company that aims to connect young people in Scotland with our natural and cultural heritage.  In addition to an honours degree in history, he has an MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy.

Joe Perry

New Coordinator Joe Perry 

The Flow Country is an area of deep peat, dotted with bog pools, that blankets much of Caithness and Sutherland. The Flow Country is the largest expanse of blanket bog in Europe and covers about 200,000 hectares. A recent academic study has described The Flow Country as being “the best peatland of its type in the world”. The idea that the Flow Country could be inscribed as a World Heritage Site has been investigated by The Peatlands Partnership for some time and the area has been on the UK’s Tentative List of WHS since 1999. A World Heritage Site Working Group was set up by the Partnership in 2017 this short-life working group is independently chaired by Mrs Frances Gunn of The Highland 3rd Sector Alliance and will have a fixed purpose to develop and submit a Technical Evaluation to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by the summer of 2019.

A Technical Evaluation is essentially a scaled-down version of a ‘nomination’ (application) to UNESCO and is assessed by an independent panel. Whilst it is the Peatlands Partnership’s aspiration that The Flow Country becomes inscribed as a World Heritage Site, it is DCMS which will decide whether the case is sufficiently robust to nominate the site to UNESCO.

theflowcountry.org.uk

“the best peatland of its type in the world”?

A considerable amount of work is required to complete the process and Joe Perry has been appointed to assist the Working Group in delivering this.

The Working Group has to carry out three main tasks which will take up to 18 months to complete:

  • Develop a boundary for the proposed WHS in consultation with a wide range of community and other interests.
  • Carry out an extensive community consultation covering all aspects of what a WHS could mean to local communities.
  • Complete all the reports and information required to support the Technical Evaluation and submit this to DCMS in the summer of 2019.

Chair of the Working Group, Frances Gunn, said “In the past we have relied solely on a number of partners fitting this work in alongside all their other duties and so it’s a great step forward to have a Project Officer in post who can dedicate all their time to taking the World Heritage Site proposals forward, especially an all-important community consultation across Sutherland and Caithness.”

Frances added “I am particularly grateful to Highland Council who will act as host employer for Joe and I’m also delighted that we have funded this post from both the public and private sectors. The post is generously supported by Wildland Limited, RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and The Highland Council.”

Nicole Wallace, Highland Council’s Environment Manager pointed out “Highland Council is happy to help the Peatlands Partnership take the proposals for UNESCO World Heritage Site status forward and I look forward to Joe starting work on this exciting project next month.”

“We shouldn’t let the fact that the Flow Country has been identified as the best peatland of its type in the world pass us by.  A Flow Country World Heritage Site would not only be an enormous accolade for the area and the many organisations, land managers, crofters and farmers who have maintained this area for generations but it would also bring many positive development opportunities and undoubtedly some challenges too.”  

The Peatlands Partnership

The Peatlands Partnership includes:  Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, Forestry Commission (Scotland), RSPB Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, The Environmental Research Institute, Northern Deer Management Group, Flow Country Rivers Trust, The Highland Third Sector Interface and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It also liaises with local community groups, the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate and the North Sutherland Community Forest Trust.

The Partnerships is chaired by Professor Stuart Gibb of the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso and Highland Council’s representative on the Partnership is Nicole Wallace, Head of Environment.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Joe Perry  Project Coordinator, Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group

Joe.Perry@highland.gov.uk

07775 411270

Brigid Primrose Secretary: The Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group,

c/o Scottish Natural Heritage, Great Glen House, Inverness.

Brigid.Primrose@snh.gov.uk

01463 725251 

Ian Mitchell  Secretary: The Peatlands Partnership,

c/o Scottish Natural Heritage, The Links, Golspie.

peatlands_partnership@snh.gov.uk 

0300 067 3110  

WWW.THEFLOWCOUNTRY.ORG.UK

Understanding and Managing World Heritage Sites – training in Durham

Announcement, Durham Cathedral, Education, Events, News, training, UNESCO

durham-castle-credit-adteasdale

The team at the Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site would like to invite you to attend a Historic Environment Local Management (HELM) training opportunity on the 3rd July , supported by Historic England. You can find the full programme at this link 180703 HELM WHS Course – Durham Programme

You can also register for the course at: http://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/training-skills/helmtraining/world-heritage-sites/

And see a module for the course at:  https://rise.articulate.com/share/X4PVb7dZxauJf7NrL7s6X2_CHEWbC-NQ

If you would like to communicate with a human you can contact  Stella.jackson@historicengland.org.uk

Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site to Host Jousting Tournament

Announcement, Arts, Blenheim Palace, Culture, Education, Events, Exhibition, Heritage, History, Military, News, Opportunities, Performance, Tourism, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Jousting

Blenheim Palace will be alive to the thunder of hooves and the clash of lances on shields as it hosts the Knights of Royal England’s Jousting Tournament from May 5th-7th. Visitors will be transported back in time to a medieval tournament; complete with authentic tilt yard, royal box, falconry, archery and hand to hand combat.

Recreating the glorious jousting matches of Britain’s past, knights in shining armour will take to the field on their noble steeds in a momentous display of bravery and skill beneath the spectacular backdrop of Blenheim Palace. Knights and horses will be costumed with chainmail and steel armour for the period 1200-1250. The knights will be using 14-foot-long lances and riding at full gallop. There will be approximately 15 participants all dressed to assume their part in this authentic and thrilling re-creation of the Tournament.

The weekend will be packed with historic action and family friendly entertainment, from thrilling falconry displays to ‘have-a-go’ archery. For the younger children there will be baby dragons to meet and the chance to join the Dragon Procession. Hatched from a small dragon sanctuary in the Welsh Marshes, these delightful creatures are very friendly and well mannered, although a dragon is never entirely predictable… Families can enjoy food, refreshments and tournament treats on the South Lawn along with a medieval stand with lots of historically themed goodies.

The Blenheim Estate is no stranger to genuine jousting tournaments. In 1389 John, Earl of Pembroke, was killed in a jousting accident while a Christmas guest at the old Woodstock royal palace.

WHAT: Spring Jousting Tournament at the Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site

WHEN: May 5th-7th

WHY VISIT: Knights on horseback, battles, falconry displays, dragons, archery and much more!

ADMISSION: Park & Gardens ticket required: Adult £16.00, Child £7.40, Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) £43.00

WEBSITE: blenheimpalace.com

VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/264025969