Hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Llangollen Pavilion in spectacular North East Wales, this was the 5th Annual Conference and AGM for World Heritage UK and every bit as good as its predecessors. The programme was framed by a new World Heritage UK publication, a review of the state of UK World Heritage Sites called ‘UK World Heritage: asset for the future‘. The conference developed themes from the report, in particular on finance and governance, on diplomacy and ‘soft power’, and the impacts and benefits of tourism. This attracted an excellent range of speakers from as far abroad as Philadelphia, Hangzhou and Dublin as well as from the home nations of the UK, culminating in an expert panel fielding the questions raised by delegates. You can see some of the presentations via these links:
Allan Forrest Wrexham Council, ‘Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal’
Andrew MacClelland, Liverpool University ‘Heritage and the past in the UK’s diplomatic futures’
Aydin Zorlutuna, Arcadis, ‘Trevor Basin Area Masterplan’
Chris Blandford, World Heritage UK, ‘UK World Heritage Site Review’
Jane Gibson/Jo Shoebridge, Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site ‘Visitor Centre and local artisans’
Michael MacDonagh, Irish Government, ‘Irish perspectives – the challenges and opportunities for heritage’
Peter Moore, National Trust, ‘Looking to a Sustainable Future at Giant’s Causeway for Visitors and the National Trust’
Rebecca Burrows, Purcell, ‘Conserving 20th Century Buildings – an international approach to sustaining significance’
Xinyun Liang, Grand Canal Preservation Centre of Hangzou, ‘China Grand Canal’
Zabeth Teelucksingh, Global Philadelphia Association, ‘The World Heritage City Project – a Public-Private Partnership Model in Philadelphia’
Thanks to the many local partners who contributed to the event, participants experienced some memorable natural and cultural wonders provided by this World Heritage Site, including riding the aqueduct by narrowboat, viewing it illuminated by night, travelling the canal by horse-drawn boat, by routemaster bus to dine with a Welsh Male voice choir and visiting the steam railway at Llangollen. Follow this link to see the photographs of the whole event taken by Sam Rose.
Over a hundred participants in this event networked vigorously throughout the two days and the conference hall was fringed with pull-up banners and displays to assist in information exchange.
Among the many thanks, World Heritage UK is particularly grateful to Cadw and Welsh Government, Transport for Wales, Denbighshire and Wrexham Councils, Arcadis and Purcell consultancies for their support.