World Heritage UK has now completed its response to ‘Planning for the Future’, the government’s consultation on planning reform in England, and commented on its potential effects on World Heritage Sites. You can read the response in full HERE
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.”
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:
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.
You can find more information on this UNESCO tentative list site at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5678/
Hundreds of people came to see His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales as the guest of honour at a special community event on 26th March, to mark the Lake District as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The long journey to World Heritage Site status was led by Lord Clark of Windermere, managed by the Lake District National Park Partnership and submitted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Historic England.
The Prince of Wales attended the event at Crow Park, Keswick, and unveiled the official UNESCO plaque to mark the designation. As Chairman of the Partnership, Lord Clarke maintained, “this plaque will give local people and visitors a place to come and appreciate not just the spectacular landscape, but also the rich, cultural history of the Lake District as a World Heritage Site”.
The event was a celebration of the unique cultural landscape of the Lake District to which special guests and members of the community were invited to attend. Among these was World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, who explained the work of the organisation to the Prince of Wales, finding that the guest of honour fully understood the values that underpin the UK’s World Heritage Sites, as well as the issues they face. Michael Ellis, the new Heritage Minister was also present, and it is hoped that a further meeting with him and World Heritage UK will be arranged.
UNESCO asks all World Heritage Sites to celebrate their status by erecting an official plaque, but with so many inspirational viewpoints to choose from across the Lake District, a number of locations and plaques were considered by the Partnership. The criteria included a stunning landscape view, good public access for all and strong representation of the three World Heritage Site themes of cultural landscape: identity, inspiration and conservation. The National Trust’s Crow Park, overlooking Derwent Water, was chosen for this special event.
Lake District National Park Chief Executive, Richard Leafe, explained how the benefits of this new status were already being seen across the National Park. “Since last summer, we have seen some great examples of organisations, businesses and communities using World Heritage status to flourish and prosper,” Richard said. “From inspirational cultural events to welcoming first-time visitors to the park, this global recognition has encouraged new opportunities, while continuing to be a much loved national park for everyone to enjoy.”
The English Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of over a thousand across the world and is the 31st inscription for the UK. It is the UK’s largest World Heritage Site at 229,200 ha and is the only UK National Park that is entirely a World Heritage Site.
There are three themes that underpin the English Lake District World Heritage Site inscription are:
1) Identity: The acknowledged beauty of the Lake District is the result of thousands of years of industry and agricultural development of the spectacular natural landscape of mountains, valleys, lakes and woodland.
2) Inspiration: The beauty of the Lake District inspired artists and writers of the Picturesque and Romantic movements and generated ideas about landscape that have had global influence.
3) Conservation: The Lake District has been enjoyed and valued by visitors for more than 250 years. Concern to protect it was the inspiration for the birth of the conservation movement, including the National Trust and protected areas including UK National Parks.
Announced at a Heritage Day event organised by Heritage Alliance on the 5th December, you can read the Minister’s speech here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/john-glens-speech-launching-the-heritage-statement
The Heritage Statement is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-heritage-statement-2017
See pages 25 and 26 for references to World Heritage Sites. Measures in the statement include launching a new Heritage Council, chaired by the Minister, to emphasise the value of the historic environment, build consensus and ensure greater coordination.