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

Save-the-date! 6/7 August for World Heritage UK summer meeting at Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site

Durham Cathedral, Events, Networking, News, Opportunities, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

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World Heritage UK is pleased to announce a two-day summer workshop and networking event exploring the social and economic opportunities and challenges of community engagement in and around World Heritage Sites. A rare treat, the meeting will take place in the historic Priors Hall of Durham Cathedral (not generally open to the public), at the heart of the Durham Castle and Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The programme is still being developed but is expected to consider a range of subjects including: the socio-economic effects of world heritage status, heritage tourism, community archaeology,  young people as heritage champions, along with some interesting international perspectives.

Delegates should come prepared to enjoy the presentations and contribute to developing these themes in workshop sessions but it won’t be all work, with many opportunities to visit some highlights of this fascinating World Heritage Site including the Cathedral, Castle and Open Treasure exhibition, networking with world heritage colleagues and heritage service providers and a dinner in the Cathedral’s Medieval Undercroft restaurant.

An optional third day (Thursday 8th August) is also being considered, with a chance to visit two other World Heritage Sites: Hadrian’s Wall and the English Lake District.

Save-the-date in your diaries for now – an online booking page will be available soon. Perhaps a good opportunity to make it part of your summer holiday this year!

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Blaenavon welcomes ‘World Heritage Learning and Engagement’ technical workshop

Blaenavon, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Blaenavon group photo

Gareth Davies, Town Mayor of Blaenavon, hosted the forty participants from all four UK nations and the World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, at a civic reception at The Workmen’s Hall as part of a busy programme of activities at the World Heritage Learning and Engagement technical workshop held at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site in South Wales in February. These activities included a discussion on establishing a ‘World Heritage Learning and Engagement Network’, shared experiences amongst delegates of this important field of work with some useful and interesting case studies, hands-on creative workshops and some excellent site visits to the Ironworks and underground at Big Pit.

The varied presentations from the event are now available for sharing:

1 Introduction to Learning and Engagement by Ashleigh Taylor

2 Acting Locally, Thinking Globally by Dr Jamie Davies

3 Partnership with Purpose by David Williams and Dan Oliver

4 Engaging Young People in New Ways by Georgina Greaves

5 Unloved Heritage by Polly Groom

6 Evaluating Learning and Engagement by Ashleigh Taylor

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Cornish Mining World Heritage Site gets £1m for Wheal Busy conservation

Cornish Mining Landscape, News, Uncategorized
Wheal Busy Smithy Funding 1

One of the two impressive cast iron lintels of the Smithy, which give an indication of the proud 
spirit the mine company wished to convey through its reworking of Wheal Busy in the 1870s.
(Image: Ainsley Cocks)

Since 2014 the World Heritage site has prioritised Wheal Busy Smithy as a conservation project and for many years before this members of the team, the local community and Cornwall Council have searched for a solution to preserve this fantastic piece of history, which is a noted feature of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ within the World Heritage Site.

Whilst being a well-known feature in the Chacewater area, the building has unfortunately been underutilised for some time which has led to deterioration of the scantle-slate roofing. The winter storms of 2014 also caused the partial collapse of the building’s south eastern corner, increasing concerns about its continued stability.

In 2018 the World Heritage Office approached Highways England with the aim of getting the Smithy included as one of the projects to be funded by the Highways England A30 Environmental Designated Funds. Since then the World Heritage Team has worked with Highways England, Arup contractors, Members of the Chasewater Parish Council and Tregothnan Estate to get the project approved for funding. We are delighted to announce that this project has now been approved for £1 million in funding. The Smithy is likely to be developed for community usage.

The Smithy workshop at Wheal Busy near the former mining village of Chacewater is unique within the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site and is thought to be the largest historic blacksmiths on a metalliferous mine in Britain.

Wheal Busy is a very important name in the annals of Cornish mining. The production of copper and tin in the area around Chacewater dates from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries, with the mine first being mentioned in 1666. Wheal Busy also saw the successive installation of early innovations in steam technology; a Newcomen atmospheric engine was at work dewatering the mine by around 1726, with this role assumed by a Smeaton improved atmospheric engine by 1775-1776. Eventually a Boulton & Watt separate condenser engine was installed, this being the first of its type to operate in Cornwall when it was put to work by its designer James Watt in 1777.

As an acknowledged feature of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’, or international significance, within the World Heritage Site, the preservation of the Smithy is of the highest priority to the World Heritage Site team. Designated a Grade II Listed building, the Smithy has an extensive scantle-slate roof and impressive cast iron lintels over its two main entrances. The building owes much of its grand form to a major reworking of the mine in the 1870s and the lintels boldly proclaim the title: ‘Great Wheal Busy Mines 1872’.

Julian German, Chair of the World Heritage Site Partnership, commented that “the Partnership very much welcome the support that Highways England have pledged through the A30 Environmental Designated Funds scheme. The Wheal Busy Smithy poses a significant conservation challenge but this announcement will enable the emergency stabilisation of the building, which is a well-known and highly regarded feature of international importance within the World Heritage Site.”

The World Heritage Site team are delighted that funding has been approved for the Smithy and look forward to working closely with Highways England, the Tregothnan Estate and the community of Chacewater to deliver the much-needed conservation of this unique aspect of Cornwall’s mining heritage.

Happy New Year from World Heritage UK! – why not start it with Learning and Engagement at Big Pit, Blaenavon UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Blaenavon, Education, News, Technical Workshop, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

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Why not start your 2019 off with something to look forward to? Book now for World Heritage UK’s ‘World Heritage Site Learning and Engagement – from cradle to grave’ Technical Workshop on the 19th and 20th February, to be held at Big Pit, Blaenavon. Tickets are available at  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/world-heritage-site-learning-and-engagement-from-cradle-to-grave-tickets-53536344648 where you will also find links to the full event programme.

PLUS! – On the morning of the 19th January (10am – 12pm) at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre there will be the first World Heritage Learning and Engagement Network meeting. This is free and open to all colleagues, staff and volunteers who are involved with learning and engagement in World Heritage Sites. It will be an opportunity to share best practice, share ideas, develop new ideas and create cross-site opportunities for World Heritage. Contact ashleigh.taylor@torfaen.gov.uk for more information on this.

Also watch this space for details of the summer networking meeting and the Autumn annual conference, this year to be held near the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site at Llangollen, in North Wales.

We hope to see you at some of our events – have a great year!

chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org

 

‘Setting the Scene for World Heritage’ conference review

Conference, Conference Tower of London, DCMS Minister, Events, News, Planning, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

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The World Heritage UK annual conference for 2018 is now a happy memory with much learned, experiences and knowledge shared, networks renewed and new friendships forged over two days in October. The historic Tower of London, in the shadows of its neighbouring 21st century high rise glass skyscrapers, was the perfect place to discuss the ‘setting’ of the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and our thanks go to Historic Royal Palaces for hosting the event and providing some memorable behind-the-scenes tours.

The conference attracted over a hundred participants, including Michael Ellis, the Under Secretary of State and his team from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), colleagues from Historic England and the heritage agencies of the devolved nations (who also provided country overview presentations), university academics, heritage consultancy professionals, representatives of most of the UK’s 31 World Heritage Sites, delegates from Bermuda, Germany, Malta and a delegation from the China Academy of Urban Planning Design.

The Minister’s words were very supportive of the work of World Heritage UK and he re-stated the Government’s commitment to heritage protection. This backing will be important when the UK World Heritage Site Review, being carried out by World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, is published in 2019, and a summary of progress on this review work formed part of the busy conference programme.

Delegates also heard fascinating insights into case studies where the settings of World Heritage Sites were being challenged, in particular by tall buildings at the Tower of London, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and in Liverpool, by road development at Stonehenge, nationally significant infrastructure projects and changes in agricultural policy in the English Lake District and a variety of issues in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, including wind turbines, industrial and housing developments.

There were interactive sessions too, with a Question Time style panel and the popular 5- minute ‘elevator pitches’ which provided short but insightful contributions that were received well by an enthused audience.

As usual the conference’s additional activities were epic, including a wide range of short behind-the-scenes tours both at the Tower of London and at the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Sites, a speedy clipper trip on the River Thames and a jolly conference dinner at the Old Brewery in Greenwich.

Feedback from delegates has been 100% positive on the overall experience of the conference via the 39% of feedback forms received. Speaker’s presentations and other arisings from the event will be uploaded to the World Heritage UK website in due course.

We are already planning and looking forward to next year’s conference which will be hosted in Llangollen by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site in North Wales. In the meantime, the next event will be a technical workshop on ‘Education in World Heritage Sites’ which will take place at Big Pit, Blaenavon on 19th and 20th February 2019

Do sign up to this blog to receive further updates on World Heritage UK activity www.worldheritageuk.org/blog

Photo credits: Sam Rose

Controversial World Heritage conference expected at the Tower of London, 15th and 16th October 2018

Conference Tower of London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, News, Planning, Stonehenge, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK
Tower and tall buildings (2)

Tall buildings and the Tower of London UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just one of many controversial issues regarding the ‘setting’ of World Heritage Sites to be considered by speakers and delegates at the 4th World Heritage UK Annual Conference on 15th/16th October 2018.   Photo credit: Historic Royal Palaces

World Heritage UK is pleased to announce that registration is now open for its 4th Annual Conference, ‘Setting the Scene for World Heritage’, taking place at the Tower of London UNESCO World Heritage Site on the 15th and 16th October 2018. Please note the change of date from previous announcements, made to accommodate the very best available facilities at this prestigious venue.

The link to the registration webpage is  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/setting-the-scene-for-world-heritage-tickets-46877370477?

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the historic wonders of the world and the jewels in the crown of any nation. The United Kingdom is blessed with 31 of them and each year World Heritage UK celebrates these gems with a conference. The theme for this year’s event will be ‘Setting the Scene for World Heritage’.

Many of our World Heritage Sites are facing management issues, not only from within their boundaries, but from external pressures beyond, which can be hard to control. Here, delegates will look at the setting in which a World Heritage Site exists, issues with buffer zones and examining how best to deal with Outstanding Universal Value in the margins.

We will be looking in detail at controversial urban examples from Liverpool, Edinburgh and London, but will also examine contentious cultural landscapes such as Stonehenge, natural World Heritage Sites and those with issues on the coast.

The Minister for the Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Michael Ellis MP, has accepted our invitation to speak at the conference and he will be joined by Colonel Richard Harrold, Director of the Tower Group, Simon Hickman from Historic England, urban designer Pete Swift from Planit IE and Rob Burns from Urban Design and Heritage as confirmed speakers so far.

The conference will be delivered in association with Historic Royal Palaces and with support from Historic England and Border Archaeology. We expect to continue the success of previous years with an exciting programme of speakers and side events – perhaps an evening boat trip on the River Thames and behind-the-scenes tour at the Tower of London. More detail on these to follow.

There are only 150 tickets available for this conference, including a small allocation at a reduced rate for students and Voting Members of World Heritage UK. You are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Understanding and Managing World Heritage Sites – training in Durham

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

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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

World Heritage UK responds to draft National Planning Framework

Advocacy, communications, Conservation, consultation, Culture, DCMS Minister, News, Planning, Publications, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

WORLD HERITAGE UK’S RESPONSE TO DRAFT REVISED NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR ENGLAND

 

cityscape St Pauls and The Shard

The Government’s planning policies for England are set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The Government has recently announced its intention to revise the Framework and has consulted on a draft revision.  World Heritage UK (WH:UK) responded to the consultation.

As a State Party to the World Heritage Convention, the United Kingdom is required to protect, preserve, present and transmit to future generations its World Heritage Sites.  It does this primarily through its planning systems. In the last 18 months, WH:UK has been working to suggest how the UK’s planning systems could be improved further to meet these responsibilities.   It based its response to the Draft Revised National Planning Policy Framework largely on this work.

In its response, WH:UK pointed out that England’s World Heritage Sites include a wide range of historic monuments and past industry, landscapes, townscapes, and natural and ecological features.  Therefore they will be affected by many of the policies in the NPPF. They cannot be treated as a single homogenous entity.

The full text of WH:UK’s response can be found under Correspondence and Consultations on its website Response to draft NPPF May 18 – resubmission final.

The key points in WH:UK’s response are:

  • Recognition.  WH:UK welcomes the recognition given to the protection of World Heritage Sites in various places in the Draft Revised NPPF.  It urges that, in due course, such protection should be enshrined in primary legislation.
  • Development Plans. WHUK strongly disagrees with the proposed changes to the nature of the “development plan”.   The Draft Revised NPPF states that, while local planning authorities will be obliged to produce a plan that addresses the strategic priorities for their area, there would be no obligation on them to produce more detailed policies in a Local Plan.   However Local Plans contain the very policies that currently protect, preserve and help present World Heritage Sites. They cover issues such as good design, the type of development that is or is not acceptable at or adjacent to World Heritage Sites, the protection of Sites’ settings and/ro buffer zones and the promotion of conservation.   It cannot be assumed that local authorities will voluntarily produce local plans. If they do not, this would severely weaken the effectiveness of the planning system in helping to deliver the State Party’s obligations on World Heritage Sites.
  • Pre-application engagement. WH:UK welcomes the continuing support for pre-application engagement.  It has encouraged its members to be more actively involved in decision-making processes and recognises the value of early dialogue.
  • Economic value of World Heritage Sites. WH:UK suggested that the NPPF should recognise the economic value of World Heritage Sites both locally and nationally.
  • Good design. WH:UK strongly supports the encouragement of good design.  It does not agree that it would be acceptable for increased densities to overrule local character and history, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting.  Such an approach could threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of a World Heritage Site or its setting and/or buffer zone, all as interpreted by policies in the respective local plan or plans.
  • Green Belt. Similarly, while WH:UK understands the need to make best use of urban land and to protect the Green Belt, it is important to appreciate that this policy approach can threaten the Outstanding Universal Value and/or setting/buffer zone of some World Heritage Sites by increasing development pressures within urban areas.    This is a question of priorities, which the Revised Draft NPPF does not resolve. Instead it states that development in Green Belts may be approved in “very special circumstances” while “Substantial harm or loss of …World Heritage Sites should be wholly exceptional.” WH:UK believes that, given their worldwide importance, World Heritage Sites should take precedence over Green Belts, and therefore there may be circumstances where it would be appropriate to review Green Belt boundaries to relieve development pressures at or adjacent to World Heritage Sites.
  • Natural World Heritage Sites.  WH:UK is seriously disappointed that the chapter on conserving and enhancing the natural environment does not recognise or set out policies for England’s natural World Heritage Site (the Dorset and East Devon Coast) or any such sites that may be inscribed in the future. The existence of such sites is recognised only in a footnote in the chapter on conserving and enhancing the historic environment, and then no indication is given as to whether the policies applicable to World Heritage Sites in that chapter apply to natural sites.  Nevertheless, WH:UK warmly welcomes the new reference in the first paragraph of that chapter to World Heritage Sites, which provides a clear signal in respect of the Sites’ importance.
  • Heritage Impact Assessments. WH:UK  strongly encourages the use of Heritage Impact Assessments to help local planning authorities determine development proposals, and considers these should be mentioned in the NPPF.
  • Development within World Heritage Sites. WH:UK supports of the proposed retention of the requirement on local authorities to “look for opportunities for new development within World Heritage Sites…to enhance or better reveal their significance;” while recognizing that not all elements of a World Heritage Site will necessarily contribute to its significance.
  • Minerals development. World Heritage UK welcomes the continued protection of World Heritage Sites through the provision of landbanks of non-energy minerals from outside these areas as far as is practical.  However that protection should also be applied to areas that form part of the setting and /or the buffer zone of Sites, as interpreted by policies in the respective local plan or plans.  Also the text addressing the issues on oil, gas and coal exploration and extraction is very weak in relation to heritage issues. In this respect, WH:UK advocates a similar approach as for non-energy minerals.

Author credit: Donald Gobbett, World Heritage UK Board Member

Google and Historic England at World Heritage UK conference

Advocacy, communications, Conference, Conference Ironbridge 2017, News, Opportunities, training, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites
Suhair Khan Bio Pic (2) (2)-1 (1)

Suhair Khan

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Duncan Wilson

Suhair Khan from the Google Cultural Institute and Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England are just two of the many speakers featuring at the World Heritage UK annual conference at the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site  in October this year. They will address the conference theme ‘Communicating World Heritage’ from their perspectives, more details of which you can find at:  https://communicatingworldheritage.wordpress.com/