Liverpool creates world heritage
LIVERPOOL has set up a special
taskforce to examine how the City can maintain its UNESCO World Heritage Status
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has informed Heritage Minister John Glen, MP,
of the establishment of the Liverpool World Heritage Board in a bid to work
closer with the DCMS to:- "reset the relationship with UNESCO."
The Mayor has appointed Sir David Henshaw, who was the Chief Executive at
Liverpool City Council when the City received the status in 2004, to lead a team
of experts including Sir Neil Cossons, former chair of English Heritage.
Joining Sir David and Sir Neil on the board; which meets for the 1st time;
will be:- Claire Dove, Chief Executive of Blackburn House Group, Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice Chancellor of Hope University, Professor John Belchem, Emeritus
Professor at University of Liverpool and Professor Michael Parkinson, Associate
Pro Vice Chancellor for civic engagement of the University of Liverpool, with
more appointments to be made in the coming weeks.
The move follows the annual summit of UNESCO which has recommend that it looks
at whether to "delete" Liverpool from its World Heritage list at its next
summit in July 2018.
In the letter to the Minister, who recently visited Liverpool to discuss the WHS
issue, Mayor Anderson says:- "We greatly value World Heritage Status and
recognise that it brings huge benefits in terms of the City's economy, identity
and self esteem.
With the impact of austerity we have lost focus on communicating the importance
of those benefits as effectively as we previously did.
I welcome the UNESCO challenge as it will enable us to highlight all the City's
achievements and re-energise the heritage agenda which has been less visible
than I would have liked.
I have established a Liverpool World Heritage Board to review our position,
involve all the City stakeholders and engage directly with UNESCO with objective
or reaching agreement on the way forward.
With the support and input of the DCMS I am sure this approach can ensure
Liverpool's World Heritage Status is secured."
The creation of the board comes as the state of conservation within Liverpool's
Maritime Mercantile City WHS is at an all time high.
A new survey has shown that almost ₤750m has been invested into historic assets
within the UNESCO approved site including the upgrade of 37 listed buildings
since 2012, 18 with Council financial assistance, such as the Aloft Hotel, the
award winning Central Library and Stanley Dock. Liverpool City Council's Cabinet has also endorsed a new WHS management plan to
further enhance conversation efforts and visitor appeal.
The management plan, which was prepared in consultation with Historic England
and the public, is 1 of the corrective measures the City Council has agreed
with UNESCO to remove the site from the list of 'World Heritage In
Danger.' The plan, which is based on 5 key themes includes guidance aimed at
developers to explain the attributes of the 'Outstanding Universal Value'
site and the conservation and management requirements under the World Heritage
The cabinet report highlighted that the Council's "Buildings at Risk"
programme continues to be the most successful project of its type in England;
with a 75% reduction in 'at risk' buildings in the past decade.
Liverpool has also recently been recognised as a world leader in sustainable
heritage regeneration. It is the only City in the UK to have been awarded:-
"Role Model" status and is part of Europe's largest sustainable Heritage Project,
'Horizon 2020,' which is examining how Cities can use heritage as a powerful
engine for economic growth.
Sir David Henshaw, who is Chairman of National Museums Liverpool, said:-
"Liverpool's track record in preserving its unique heritage is beyond question.
What has been unfortunate is that the need for economic growth and job creation
has clouded the fact that heritage is actually a key ingredient in achieving
those goals. Liverpool has achieved a huge amount since 2004 in investing in its
historic assets but has somewhere along the way failed to demonstrate how this
is shaping the City's future. I'm delighted to have been asked to chair
this new board and look forward to working with our partners, both in the City
and in Government, to achieve a new understanding with UNESCO and show how the
City can address the concerns it has raised. As the Mayor has said, this is a
huge opportunity for Liverpool to showcase why its World Heritage Status is an
asset and how it is being utilised to engineer new investment and growth."