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

Announcement, News, press release, Uncategorized

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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.”

Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site re-opens to visitors

Blenheim Palace, News

Blenheim Palace's Second State Room

Blenheim Palace is set to open its doors to visitors again from Saturday, 4th July.

Widely regarded as a masterpiece of 18th century Baroque architecture, ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’ was built as a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from Queen Anne and a grateful nation in thanks for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704.

The Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site houses one of the most important and extensive collections in Europe, which includes portraits, furniture, sculpture and tapestries.

To mark its re-opening the Palace is also putting on display a set of four Marlborough family portraits; one of which features the 4th Duke of Marlborough as a child and has never been on show to the public before.

Other new features will see the Library decorated in the style of the 1920s and the coronation robes, chairs and coronets used by the 10th Duke and Duchess for the crowning of King George VI in 1937 will also be on show.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy al fresco dining in a series of outdoor marquee pods in the Italian Garden next to the Orangery restaurant, which will be serving lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

As part of its re-opening Blenheim Palace has introduced a series of ‘keeping safe’ measures.

Daily visitor numbers are limited and admission is only via online pre-booking. Visitors will be welcomed at a safe distance, all transactions are cashless and staff in key engagement areas will be wearing personal protective equipment and be behind protective screens.

New signage, barriers and announcements form part of the visit, and additional staff are on hand to provide advice and information. Extra temporary outdoor toilets with washing and hand sanitising areas have also been set up.

Visitors can also watch an explanatory video online prior to arriving on site, which clearly explains the new procedures.

For more information please contact Steph Duncan on 07881 356 736 or at SDuncan@blenheimpalace.com or Drew Cunliffe at drew@flamingo-marketing.co.uk .

Note: The Untold Story and the Churchill Exhibition will remain closed, although visitors will have access to the bedroom where Churchill was born.

World Heritage UK Spring Meeting ‘Restoration of World Heritage – repairs and how to fund them’, Blenheim Palace, 29th April 2020. Registration now open.

Blenheim Palace, Conservation, Culture, Events, News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK
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Blenheim Palace aerial photo credit © Blenheim Palace 2020

The first event of World Heritage UK’s events in 2020 will take place on Wednesday 29th April 2020 in The Marlborough Room at the magnificent Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site at Woodstock in Oxfordshire.

It will be a one-day meeting with the title ‘Restoration of World Heritage – repairs and how to fund them’. This is an area of work that the Blenheim Palace team have particular expertise in and are willing to share with participants, along with other contributors.

There will be in the region of £7-8 million worth of repairs underway at the time of the meeting, including dredging the lakes designed by Capability Brown, so plenty of opportunities to experience these with expert guidance, both inside the palace and in the extensive grounds.

Tickets priced at just £75 plus booking fee. Please register HERE

The draft programme is available at Blenheim Palace draft programme v5
Watch this space for updates on additional contributors.

Travel and accommodation information is also available at Blenheim Travel and Accommodation

An informal supper at a local hostelry is being planned for those travelling the day before. More details upon registration.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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WHS nomination for the landscape that ‘roofed the world’

News, UNESCO, Wales, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

World Heritage UK is pleased to share the press release by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the announcement of the nomination of the Slate Mining Landscape of North West Wales for World Heritage Site status, including support from the UK Heritage Minister, Helen Whately. You can read the press release here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/welsh-slate-landscape-nominated-for-unesco-world-heritage-status

Nomination

World Heritage UK 2020 events programme – dates for the new diary

Blenheim Palace, Events, Lake District, News, scotland, Technology, Uncategorized, World Heritage UK

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As agreed by the World Heritage UK Board of Trustees, the first event of World Heritage UK’s events in 2020 will take place on Wednesday 29th April 2020 in The Marlborough Room at the magnificent Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site at Woodstock in Oxfordshire. It will be a one-day workshop with the provisional title ‘Restoration in World Heritage Sites – repairs and how to fund them’. This is an area of work that the Blenheim Palace team have particular expertise in and are willing to share with participants. There will be in the region of £7-8 million worth of repairs underway at the time of the event, including dredging the lakes designed by Capability Brown so plenty of opportunities to experience these with expert guidance. Registration will be required to take part in this workshop and places will be limited, so do act swiftly when tickets become available in the next few weeks.

welcome to the LD

World Heritage UK’s summer workshop will be in the recently inscribed English Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd July 2020. The venue here will be the Ambleside Campus of the University of Cumbria, where we will be using the Percival Lecture Theatre to consider ‘Marketing World Heritage’. Further details to follow.

Westminster underwater

Preparations are already underway for World Heritage UK’s Annual Conference and AGM which this year will take place in Scotland with the all-too-important theme of ‘World Heritage and Climate Change’. Provisional dates to pencil in you diary at this stage are Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th September 2020, with venues expected to be either Glasgow or Stirling and to include visiting the Antonine Wall component of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further details to follow. (photo credit: www.sustainablebusinesstoolkit.com)

World Heritage UK Chair’s Christmas message

Announcement, News, Uncategorized, World Heritage UK

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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 Annual Conference 2019, hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site

Conference Pontcysyllte, Llangollen 2019, News, Publications, Uncategorized, WHS Review, World Heritage UK
WHUK Conference 2019 Copyright Sam Rose lowres-8980

2019 Conference delegates Photo: Sam Rose

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.

 

Durham Castle and Cathedral welcomes World Heritage UK delegates

Durham Cathedral, Events, News, World Heritage UK

World Heritage UK notched up another success in its vibrant events programme last week with over 60 delegates and speakers filling the Prior’s Hall at the Durham Castle and Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site, to hear a wide range of speakers and experience some very special opportunities provided by their hosts. These included access to the new ‘Open Treasure’ exhibition which presented rare artefacts telling the story of St Cuthbert in the most intact medieval monastic buildings in the UK; sitting in the magnificent Durham Cathedral C17th Quire during evensong soaking up the atmosphere created by the Hexham Abbey Choir; self-guided tours around the Castle and Cathedral with exceptional volunteer guides on hand; and a visit to Hadrian’s Wall, part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site, accompanied by top experts in the field. Feedback forms are still coming in but we are expecting a positive response overall and would like to thank all involved in Durham for making us all feel so welcome with their generous hospitality.

Group Hadrian's Wall

This summer networking event – ‘All Together Now – Sustainable World Heritage’ – brought together many expert speakers on a variety of subjects, from cultural property protection and peace to community engagement, young people and volunteering; from world heritage tourism in the north of England to heritage sustainability issues in South Asia and North Africa. The intention is to share the presentations via the World Heritage UK website in due course.

Prior's Hall

These are great ways to see the UK’s 32 world heritage sites, learn more about them and meet the dedicated community of world heritage people who work in and around them. If you would like to take part in one of World Heritage UK’s special events, your next opportunity to do so is at the annual conference, this year being held at the Llangollen Pavilion in North Wales, hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site on the 7th and 8th October 2019. Here we will be discussing the soon-to-be-published review of the UK’s World Heritage Sites and will have a national and international cast of speakers from all parts of the UK and Australia, China and the USA to help us do so. Side events and tours include a barge (or walk) over Thomas Telford’s famous aqueduct, a horse-drawn boat trip on the Llangollen canal, a heritage steam railway experience and a civic reception and dinner with a Welsh Male Voice Choir. Tickets are available now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-the-most-of-world-heritage-tickets-66862803445

Our events are becoming increasingly popular so book soon to avoid disappointment!

With thanks to Historic England and Purcell for their support for the Durham event.

‘Making the Most of World Heritage’ – 2019 conference announcement

Conference, Events, Llangollen 2019, News, UNESCO, Wales, WHS Review, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

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The Board of Trustees of World Heritage UK is pleased to announce the details of its 5th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, this year to be hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Llangollen Pavilion near Wrexham in North Wales on the 7th and 8th October 2019.

Following the imminent publication of the State of UK World Heritage Sites Review, this conference will adopt some of the report’s main themes and explore the issues and prospective outcomes that it highlights with a range of speakers from home and overseas.

Along with exciting site visit experiences and your chance to ask questions of a panel of experts, do join: Deputy Minister for Culture Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas; from the USA, Global Philadelphia Association Executive Director Zabeth Teelucksingh; from the World Cultural Heritage Centre of China, Yan Haiming; Author and researcher Bailey Ashton Adie and Head of Tourism and Heritage at DCMS, Giles Smith (all pictured above) along with Michael Macdonough, Chief Archaeologist at the Irish Government and many more. Themes of ‘Financing sites and governance models’, ‘Heritage, soft power and diplomacy’ and the ‘Impacts and Benefits of Tourism’, in particular will be under the spotlight.

You can find the latest draft v8 programme Pontcysyllte  and you can book your place on the conference registration site HERE (early booking recommended to avoid disappointment and to secure accommodation in advance).

World Heritage UK is grateful to the following sponsors and supporters who have helped make this event possible:

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Congratulations Jodrell Bank UNESCO World Heritage Site!

News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites

World Heritage UK welcomes the news from the 43rd meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan, that the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope in Cheshire has become the UK’s 32nd World Heritage Site.

You can hear from the nomination proponents below and see the entire press release with endorsements HERE

Already a Member of World Heritage UK as a Tentative Site on the UNESCO list, World Heritage UK welcomes Jodrell Bank as a fully-fledged UNESCO World Heritage Site and look forward to our continued working with you to support all the UK’s World Heritage Sites.

We also look forward to celebrating this success at our Summer Meeting in Durham where senior members of the hard-working Jodrell Bank team will be joining us for a fabulous 2 day (optional 3 day) event at the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site. There are just the last few tickets for this left, available HERE if you would like meet them and share in their success. The meeting is “All Together Now – Sustainable World Heritage”, at Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th August 2019 (with optional 8th August field visit to sites on Hadrian’s Wall, part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site). To see the latest event programme please email chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org

We look forward to seeing you there!

Chris Mahon                                                                                                                          Development Director, World Heritage UK, on behalf of the World Heritage UK Board of Trustees