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.


Some reflections on the Inaugural World Heritage UK conference, by Coralie Acheson

Conference Saltaire October 2015, News

Coralie Acheson

Last week a large group of professionals working with or alongside World Heritage Sites got together in Saltaire for the inaugural World Heritage UK conference, alongside a few ‘interested observers’ like myself. It was a great two days with a real buzz of positivity and creativity in the room.

There were a number of key ideas and themes that emerged, reflecting the fact that, although the UK’s World Heritage Sites are enormously varied in content, size, visitor numbers and management structure, there are areas of commonality shared across them.

The first of these is that there should be no shame in promoting these wonderful places to funding organisations, government and businesses. Not only are World Heritage Sites truly special places, they have great economic potential. Keith Nichol (DCMS) reminded us that the English visitor economy is worth £106bn to the national economy. Heritage already plays a sizeable role in both actual visitor spend, but also in contributing to ‘Brand Britain’. The case studies from the Jurassic Coast, the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape and Edinburgh showed ways in which the World Heritage Site’s brand identity could be used in local business partnerships, giving a boost to products and services in the area while contributing to future conservation work.

The theme of destination management emerged throughout the conference. World Heritage Sites have the potential to be a major draw for bringing tourists into local areas, not just to the sites themselves. Visitor experience starts before they arrive at the site itself, and involves many aspects of the local community. Without forethought and integration with local businesses and the community this can lead to negative experiences, but there is a lot of potential for expanding the destination experience to benefit visitors, other attractions in the area, as well as the shops, restaurants and hotels in the surrounding region.

Finally the last theme I noticed related to the importance of storytelling and narrative, not just at a site level, but in regional and national spheres also. James Berresford from Visit England made the point that people don’t really visit England, they visit places in England, although this is arguably different for Scotland and Wales which have a strong ‘national brand’. In the breakout sessions there were a number of suggestions of how inter-site narratives could be created, both between World Heritage Sites across the country, and at other sites in the local area. These kind of approaches have been developed at the Cornwall and West Devon and Loire Valley sites presented at the conference, and no doubt elsewhere too, but could also be attempted outside of the large landscape wide World Heritage Sites. Perhaps with these kind of approaches Keith Nichol’s assertion that UK World Heritage is greater than the sum of its parts could be fully developed.

Coralie Acheson is studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham

Conference photos

Conference, Conference Saltaire October 2015, Events, News

What did you think of the conference?

Conference, Conference Saltaire October 2015, Events, News
Delegates for the 2015 World Heritage UK conference

Delegates for the 2015 World Heritage UK conference

Well, the van is unpacked and the trip north is over, as is the inaugural conference of World Heritage UK.  I thought it was great, and will post more next week about my reflections on it.  But more importantly we need to know what you thought, and if you were there, please could you complete our feedback questionnaire.

It is on survey monkey, should only take about 10 minutes max and your views are really important in helping us do an even better event next year.  Click here for the survey:

Please also feel free to comment on, or ‘like’ this or other blog postings – it will help us in getting better search ratings with Google.

Thanks, Sam Rose.

venue for the 2015 World Heritage UK conference

Adam Wilkinson from Edinburgh World Heritage

More photos from the conference will follow.

venue for the 2015 World Heritage UK conference

Salts Mil in Saltaire

The conference is upon us!

Conference Saltaire October 2015, News

OK – speech written, shirts ironed, last minute panics over (I hope) and tomorrow I shall be packing some exhibition material into a van and heading up to the Saltaire World Heritage Site in the mighty city of Bradford.

The programme assembled promises to provide a fascinating mix of national and international perspectives, case studies, academic viewpoints and more. If you add on the Mayoral reception, curry night and tours, it has the makings of a great couple of days.

If you are coming, I look forward to seeing you there. If not, we will publish presentations and other reports from the event on this website, so please do watch this space.

In some respects, World Heritage UK starts in Saltaire on Wednesday morning, although some might say it started in 1986, and has just been waiting for the right time to start speak up about it; I hope that we can say after this week that the speaking up has started.  It only remains for me to thank the organising committee for getting us to the that start line, and for such a great team effort.


More details of the event can be found here

Part of Something Really Special: Connecting the World Through Heritage Tourism

Conference, Conference Saltaire October 2015, Events, News

Prof. Mike Robinson

That’s the title of Mike’s presentation to the audience at the inaugural conference of World Heritage UK to be held at the Saltaire World Heritage Site 14th and 15th October this year – have you reserved your place yet? Tickets

Professor Robinson holds the Chair of Cultural Heritage at the University of Birmingham, UK and is Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change and of the Tourism and Cultural Change Book Series.

For over 25 years Mike’s work has focused upon the relations between heritage, culture and tourism. He has published 18 books along with numerous articles and chapters on the various ways in which these realms collide. Mike wrote the UNESCO Report on Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development and contributed to the World Report on Cultural Diversity. He is a founding member of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Tourism, Culture and Development, a former member of the Culture Committee of the UK National Commission for UNESCO and was a Government appointed member of the UK’s Expert Panel to determine the UK’s Tentative List for World Heritage in 2010-2011. He contributed to the UNESCO Expert Panel for the Programme in World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism. Mike works with UNESCO offices in China and South East Asia. He works with the Council of Europe and various EU wide agencies and has held Visiting Professorships in the USA, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan and has undertaken work on heritage and tourism in a further 30 countries. He is a Trustee of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

World Heritage Tourism: Unlocking the Potential. Programme update

Conference, Conference Saltaire October 2015, News

Spaces at the inaugural World Heritage UK Conference, to be held at Saltaire on October 14th 15th 2015, are filling up fast.

The revised programme is available here, and it is fantastic to see the variety of speakers presenting, including from Government, UNESCO, the World Heritage association of France, Ironbridge Institute, a number of our World Heritage Sites, and from all the Home Nations.   We also have an evening Lord Mayor’s reception followed by curry on the 14th and a choice of excellent tours to round off the main business on the 15th.

If you are intending to come, or know someone who is, please do go to the event booking page at

If you have any questions at all about the conference, or membership, please contact Chris on

New heritage tour added to the WH:UK conference programme!

Conference, Conference Saltaire October 2015, Events, News

tramway              Trip Advisor logo for blog

The Shipley Glen Tramway volunteers have offered to open the Tramway up and run the trams specifically for conference delegates, along with an informative talk they will do at the start.

The award-winning Shipley Glen Cable Tramway is the oldest working cable tramway in Great Britain (cliff lifts excepted). Dating from 1895, the line was built to serve the local beauty  spot of Shipley Glen near Saltaire in West Yorkshire. At nearly a quarter-mile in length, the woodland ride provides a pleasant alternative to the steep path.

A short walk brings a Cafe within reach as well as the rocks and woods of Shipley Glen. The bottom station allows access to Roberts Park and the River Aire and the delights of Saltaire with Salt’s Mill and its famous Hockney Gallery.

As well as rides on the open trams, there is a small souvenir shop at the top station, selling sweets. There is a nostalgic Edwardian shop at the bottom station.

The museum at the bottom station displays photos and memorabilia of the tramway as well as Shipley Glen. There are interesting pictorial displays and memories of the tramway and Shipley Glen in days gone by.

The Shipley Tramway tour will be added to the two other choices for delegates:

Tour A is an historical walking tour of the model village of Saltaire, taking in all the significant public buildings, housing and Listed Park. Led by knowledgeable residents who can also give an insight into what it’s like to live in a World Heritage Site. If you have specific access requirements please contact the Conference organiser to discuss. The tour will only be cancelled in the event of very inclement weather so bring a waterproof. 30 places(two groups of 15). Duration approximately 90 minutes.

Tour B is a curatorial-led tour of the new Exhibition in Salts Mill ‘People and Process’. A creative and engaging exhibition which combines the history of the Mill with artistic responses to the exhibition theme and brings the history of Salts Mill up to the current day. Salts Mill is fully accessible. 30 places (two groups of 15). Duration approximately 60 minutes.

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