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.
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.
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.
Delegates attending the World Heritage UK workshop ‘Commercial Best Practice in World Heritage’ at Kew Gardens on the 6th and 7th March will be experiencing an extra and very special treat if they come to the workshop drinks, dinner and demonstration on the evening of the 6th – we shall be dining amongst the engines at the London Museum of Water and Steam! Why not join us for the workshop? – last remaining tickets can be found at the registration page where you will also find details of the event’s programme which includes unique behind the scenes tours at Kew Gardens, workshop sessions and top class speakers.
The second of World Heritage UK’s annual networking meetings took place at the New Lanark Mills World Heritage Site in July. Over 30 delegates enjoyed exploring this remarkable place between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and hearing presentations from a variety of knowledgeable speakers.
Some of the delegates enjoying the roof garden. Copyright: Historic Environment Scotland
The theme of the meeting was ‘Running the Business of World Heritage’ and there was plenty of commercial experience to share from UK and international WHS examples. We heard about the visitor centres at Stonehenge in Wiltshire and the Al Falaj in Oman, masterplanning at Kew Gardens and financial strategy at Fountains Abbey, telling the story at Durham Cathedral, customer experience at Edinburgh Castle and ‘big picture’ visioning at New Lanark itself. Plenty of discussion time too and the networking was enhanced with fine food at the Mill One Hotel restaurant.
Delegates to the 2017 World Heritage UK Networking and General Meeting. Copyright Chris Mahon
Thanks to David Holroyd, Justin Scully, Chris Blandford, Jane Gibson, Heather Sebire, and Gillian MacDonald for giving the talks, Graham U’ren, Beth Thomas and Sam Rose for chairing sessions, to Jane Masters and her tour guides at the New Lanark Trust for hosting us at the excellent Mill One Hotel and to Historic Environment Scotland for supporting the event.
David Holroyd and Graham U’ren presenting. Copyright Chris Mahon
If you haven’t yet visited the New Lanark World Heritage Site, do go if you can. There is an amazing cultural story to be heard here and the Falls of Clyde is a great natural feature without which the mills would not have been built.
Welcome to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at New Lanark. Copyright: Chris Mahon
Following on from the success of last year’s World Heritage UK Networking Meeting at the Giant’s Causeway WHS, this year we move to Scotland and the unique and successful New Lanark WHS where we plan to share our experiences on ‘running the business of World Heritage’. So, a commercial theme this year and this is appropriate as the operation at New Lanark is an exemplar. There will be opportunities to learn from each other as we hear from world heritage colleagues on their experiences of business plans and strategies, innovative enterprises and products, hospitality and customer satisfaction and the interpretation of the offer that each World Heritage Site provides to sustain it as a viable and sustainable business. The event will also include a World Heritage UK General Meeting to meet the governance requirements of the charity.
The meeting will take place in the Bonnington Linn Conference Room at the New Lanark Mill Hotel on the 4th and 5th July where a limited amount of accommodation has been reserved for delegates. Booking is urgently required to secure any of the following: 5 bedrooms reserved in the New Lanark Mill Hotel (these are Bed and Breakfast) @£89.00 per night based on two sharing or @£65.00 per night for single occupancy.
17 bedrooms in the Wee Row Hostel (bedroom only but breakfast available separately) @£55.00 based on 2 sharing or £40.00 for single occupancy.
Delegates wishing to book this accommodation MUST either phone 01555 667200 or e-mail hotel @newlanark.org and reference ‘Masters allocation’ for their booking to be made at these rates. Bookings cannot be made online. See http://www.newlanarkhotel.co.uk/ or call 01555 667200 for more details.
The Eventbrite webpage for registration to this event is ready for your sign up HERE
The draft programme is in preparation but so far includes:
- speakers and presentations from the UK’s World Heritage Sites
- the World Heritage UK General Meeting
- an evening reception with New Lanark WHS staff and Partnership Board, with a presentation by the New Lanark Chief Executive on access and new development
- a 3-course networking dinner (optional) @£23.95
- 5 specialised tours of the WHS – on architecture, power, textiles, social history and the general story of New Lanark