Webinar: World Class Planning? World Heritage and the planning reform White Paper

Announcement, Events, News

Exploring the implications for World Heritage Sites of the proposed reforms to the planning system in England, as outlined in the Government’s recently published consultation document ‘Planning for the Future’.

Online event: 10.30 – 12.30 (maximum), Friday 9th October 2020 via Zoom

Chaired by World Heritage UK’s Vice Chair, Prof. Ian Wray, who will introduce the speaker’s presentations and field questions.

Assisting us with their views and providing context we have:

Vincent Goodstadt, Honorary President of the European Council of Spatial Planners

Katie Wray, Assistant Director in Deloitte’s Real Estate team

Lisa Lamb, Head of Planning and Major Infrastructure at the National Trust

Don Gobbett, World Heritage UK Trustee and planning advisor to the World Heritage UK Board.

The online webinar link with be sent to those who register for the event via Eventbrite here. This is a free event for subscribing World Heritage UK Members. Tickets for non-Members are available at £20.

Katie Wray – Katie is an Assistant Director in Deloitte’s Real Estate team. Prior to this she worked for The Co-operative Group managing and advising on their non-trading portfolio across the country.  Katie specialises in heritage and has a strong background in development management and strategy. She has particular experience in strategic advice on the management and development of historic assets and strategic regeneration areas. She also undertakes more focussed heritage work and has completed numerous Heritage Statements for a variety of clients across the country, including on the Hyde Park Estate and UCL. She was the IHBC NW Events Co-ordinator for 8 years; often presents at heritage-planning CPD events particularly on the application of Heritage Partnership Agreements; and has recently become a member of Historic England’s Places Panel.

Lisa Lamb – Lisa is Head of Planning and Major Infrastructure at the National Trust.  She is the professional lead and is responsible for co-ordinating responses to significant external developments including NSIP’s and DCO’s, as well as schemes with pan-regional impacts such as the Ox-Camb Arc.  A significant part of her role is external engagement and advocacy work, joining up with other heritage sector organisations and responding to key consultations. She joined the National Trust in 2016 and has over 20 years experience working as a planner in both development management and planning policy gained in local government environments.  Prior to joining the Trust she worked as Principal Planner at Cambridge City Council and has more rural planning experience gained at a National Park Authority.   Her Masters specialism is in Urban Design and she has a passion for heritage and design.

Vincent Goodstadt – Vincent has worked for a range of public, private and voluntary sector bodies, and Government agencies. He has held senior management roles in local government for all levels of local and strategic planning services. This has included heritage policy, regional archaeological services and the implementation of strategic and national heritage projects. His recent activities have involved providing strategic planning advice in across the UK and Ireland, including Cambridge, London, Oxford, Sheffield, Scotland and the Irish Border region. Vincent is an Honorary President of the European Council of Spatial Planners, an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester, Vice-President of the Town & Country Planning Association, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science and a former President of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Don Gobbett – Don Gobbett is a member of the WH:UK Board, where he advises on planning matters.  He authored WH:UK’s Planning Position Statement, wrote WH:UK’s response to the revision of the National Planning Policy Framework and in 2019 wrote an article in the Journal of the Town and Country Planning Association on the effectiveness of the UK’s planning systems in relation to World Heritage Sites.  Before retirement Don was the Head of Planning at Dorset County Council, where he was responsible for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site team and chaired the Site’s Steering Group.   As well as his involvement with WH:UK he is a vice-chairman of Bournemouth University’s Research Ethics Committee, a member of Princeton University Schools Committee, and a member of the Bournemouth Branch Committee of Friends International. 

Ian Wray – Ian Wray is Vice Chair of World Heritage UK and a Visiting Professor and Fellow at Liverpool University. He is the author of ‘Great British Plans: Who Made Them and How they Worked’ (2016), and ‘No Little Plans: How Government Built America’s Wealth and Infrastructure’ (2019). He is a former TCPA Trustee and was Chief Planner, Northwest Development Agency, 2000-2010.

Welcome – a new Director at Edinburgh World Heritage Site

News, Uncategorized

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Edinburgh World Heritage has announced the appointment of Christina Sinclair as the new director of Edinburgh World Heritage, replacing Adam Wilkinson.

Born and raised in Aberdeenshire, Christina studied at both the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee before working in England in a number of heritage and conservation roles for, among others, Historic England, the Design Council and various consultancies. Specific projects she has worked on include the restorations of both Manchester and Rochdale Town Halls. Most recently, Christina has been working for the Scottish Borders Council as lead advisor on heritage.

Professor James Garden, Chair of Edinburgh World Heritage commented: ‘We’re delighted that Christina will be joining us at this crucial time for the charity, and for Edinburgh. Christina brings a wealth of experience in both design and heritage, in both England and Scotland, and has a huge amount to contribute. She is taking over at a challenging time for the city, but she has an excellent team of experts behind her, and the charity is on a very sound footing. We wish her the very best of luck’.

Christina Sinclair added: ‘I’ve always wanted to return to Edinburgh, and joining Edinburgh World Heritage at this time is a great honor. I fell in love with this extraordinary city while studying here, not just with the architecture and heritage, but also with the people, the culture, and the sheer creative energy of the place. I look forward to listening to, and working with the leaders of the city, and well as residents, community groups, and business owners so that together we can continue to build a flourishing and sustainable Edinburgh.’

Christina Sinclair will be in position from September 2nd 2020.

£92 million Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage announced

Announcement, News, Opportunities

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We are pleased to share the news of the announcement that applications are now open for the £92 million Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, which is aimed at helping heritage organisations to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new Fund is part of the wider £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund announced by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden earlier this month, which is the Government’s biggest ever one-off investment in the sector.

The Fund offers grants from £10,000 to £3 million and is open to applications from heritage organisations, private owners of heritage sites, businesses that are a vital part of the heritage ecosystem and others. Visit the fund webpage for more information.

Please share this good news across your channels and encourage your members, contacts and followers to apply by 17 August.

Planning system reform and World Heritage – online discussion event proposed

Announcement, Events, News, Uncategorized

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You can read more about today’s Government announcement of its consultation on proposals for reform of the planning system in England at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/launch-of-planning-for-the-future-consultation-to-reform-the-planning-system

and

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future 

World Heritage UK will be hosting an online event before the consultation period ends on 29th October 2020, to discuss any implications for World Heritage Sites. Watch this space for further details including confirmed date and speakers.

House of Lords Asked to Recognise the Value of World Heritage for Post-Covid Recovery

Announcement, News
A selection of our exceptional World Heritage Sites

The UK’s 32 World Heritage Sites should not be viewed as a burden which the government are simply obliged to protect. They should be empowered to reach their full potential as generators of jobs, economic regeneration, and joy.  This would not only greatly assist these special places’ own post-Covid recovery but also support the wider heritage sector, the tourism industry and the UK’s local and national economy.

This is something the government must understand and provide support for but it is  thankfully becoming part of the conversation – a discussion on the UK’s World Heritage recently occurred in the House of Lords where Baroness Andrews asked “is the Minister aware that all our 32 world heritage sites need urgent help to recover from the impact of Covid-19? If our heritage assets are to help in the rebuilding of Britain, their custodians need sustainable funding to do so. When will they know what share of the DCMS cultural package they will get?”

Since the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, World Heritage UK has been supporting the UK’s World Heritage Sites by facilitating a monthly online Site Coordinators’ meeting. Much like our physical events (sadly not possible this year), this digital space has become a valued forum for sites to support one another and to share advice, expertise, and intelligence, both about the ongoing situation and wider World Heritage issues.

The discussions we have facilitated have also identified common themes and shared concerns, including how to adapt sites for social distancing, funding challenges, green recovery, and the decolonisation of heritage. The presence of DCMS and other heritage NDPBs at these meetings is a testament to the importance of these conversations.

Though many UK World Heritage sites were originally forced to close, as they have reopened, they are already proving their value as important places for pandemic recovery. Most sites, especially natural or mixed sites, are outdoors or have large spaces compatible with social distancing and have become vital assets for wellbeing. This can be seen in the changing audiences coming to UK World Heritage Sites over the past four months: The English Lake District, for example, is seeing a totally new demographic of visitors who have never been to the lakes (or indeed the countryside) before. However, other sites have struggled with access and social distancing requirements, making reopening more difficult – this has been the case for Orkney where ferries have been very limited and their normal tourism from cruises has bee wiped out this year.

The World Heritage UK report published last year

World Heritage UK wishes to ensure that our world-class sites – both cultural and natural – not only survive the pandemic and its associated economic downturn but also thrive and positively contribute to national recovery.  There are many lessons to be gleaned from two recent reports published on the subject: The 2019 World Heritage UK Review, published last year and the recently published UKNC National Value of UNESCO to the United Kingdom Report have both highlighted the enormous untapped potential of our World Heritage Sites, pointing out that with the right support, they can be strong drivers of economic regeneration.

In the short term, World Heritage Sites can contribute to economic recovery by driving inbound and domestic tourism. Longer term, they can support the creation of jobs and employment in tourism, traditional building skills and the construction industry, contributing to sustainable regeneration and place-making. Finding new uses for old buildings is also an inherently green approach to recovery which maximises the use of our existing assets.

Increasing capacity, diversification and upskilling in the management of World Heritage Sites is vital to enable sites to realise their potential benefits.  Furthermore, higher levels of awareness of World Heritage sites within the UK and internationally will have an enormous beneficial impact for Global Britain, its cultural diplomacy and soft power.

As the UK moves into recovery post-Covid, every industry has the chance to forge a new, more sustainable path. For the heritage sector in particular, the UK’s World Heritage Sites can lead the way in fostering sustainable development by supporting local, regional, and national communities and economies whilst promoting culture and tourism in our own back yard.

World Heritage UK Business Options Appraisal tender opportunity

News

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Invitation to Tender: World Heritage UK Business Options Appraisal

World Heritage UK (WH:UK) is seeking to appoint an experienced consultant to undertake a Business Options Appraisal as part of our NLHF-funded Resilient Heritage “Unlocking the Potential” project.

The Key Objectives:

  • Generation of an Outline Strategy and Business Plan to guide the evolution of WH:UK over the next 3-5 years.
  • A framework for enhancing the organisational capacity and future resilience of WH:UK.
  • Development of briefs or action plans for further project development and fundraising opportunities

The result of this work will be a clear agenda for WH:UK’s development over a 3-5 year period and a sustainable operating base from which to expand our activities.

We appreciate the complexity of developing such a plan in an ever-shifting environment, so our aspiration is to work closely with the appointed consultants to develop something imaginative and strategic yet responsive to changing circumstances (be they financial, organisational, digital, sectoral or viral).

Contract: August 2020 – December 2020

Fee: up to £12,500 (including expenses, excluding VAT)

Submission Deadline: Sunday August 2nd 2020

Full details can be found in the Invitation to Tender document 

For additional information, expressions of interest, and questions please contact the WH:UK Resilience Project Manager: tiva.montalbano@worldheritageuk.org

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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 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.

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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

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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.