City seeks to maximise World Heritage benefits

The Mayor of Liverpool is welcoming some of the country’s leading heritage experts for top level talks on how the city can maximise the benefits of its World Heritage status.

A high profile seminar – ‘What World Heritage can do for Liverpool’ – is being held at Liverpool Town Hall on Monday 23 September. Attended by key decision makers from the public and private sector, it will explore how Liverpool can unlock the potential benefits of being a World Heritage Site.

Delegates will discuss Liverpool’s brand, image, and the tourist benefits of World Heritage Sites. They will look at how Liverpool can benefit from the positive experiences of other World Heritage Sites, watch presentations about heritage-led regeneration and learn more about property and economic development in the city.

Keynote speakers include Sir Neil Cossons, OBE, who will chair the event. A renowned international authority on heritage, Sir Neil oversaw Liverpool’s World Heritage inscription in 2004 and remains an enthusiastic advocate of the City’s great past informing a vibrant future.

Also speaking at the event will be James Rebanks, Managing Director and Head of Research, Rebanks Consulting Ltd. James has undertaken numerous economic impact studies of World Heritage Sites, and his study on the socio-economics of World Heritage Status in 2010 was described by UNESCO as a ‘seminal work on the subject’. He has since worked with more than 20 World Heritage Sites around the world.

Further addresses will be given by John Cooper, a Director in the Planning team at Deloitte Real Estate; Dr Beatriz Garcia, Head of Research, Cultural Policy & Impact at the Institute of Cultural Capital, Liverpool; Dr Kathryn Roberts, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Cadw, in Wales; and Pat Power, Director of Stanley Dock Properties.

The event has been organised by Liverpool City Council and Professor Ian Wray, chair of the Liverpool World Heritage Site Steering Group, assisted by Peel Group and English Heritage.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, who will welcome delegates, said: “We are rightly proud of our position as a World Heritage City. It reflects our outstanding heritage, historical and cultural offer, our magnificent waterfront and our fantastic architecture, which are enjoyed by millions of people from all over the world.

“It’s important that we maximise the benefits of this title – one that only an elite few hold – to further boost tourism, drive our economy and raise our international profile. These talks will be invaluable in helping us develop new ways of working together to achieve that.

“Most importantly, this event will help us further shape our approach to driving forward with our regeneration plans – something which is so important in creating jobs, raising aspirations and growing our city– while preserving our heritage. I strongly believe that it’s not a question of choosing either heritage or regeneration – by getting the balance right, we can ensure the two can exist in tandem.”

Ian Pollitt, Development Investment Surveyor at Peel and Liverpool World Heritage Site Steering Group member, said: “Liverpool has a rich maritime history to be proud of and a great effort has gone into organising this event. The fact it is taking place in Liverpool’s Heritage Open Month really chimes with people’s current outlook – the focus is very much on what the city can do to use its fantastic heritage to great effect and showcase it to the world.

“Many other cities have successfully used their World Heritage status in their marketing and we will be discussing if Liverpool should be following the same path. As Peel is currently underway with the Liverpool Waters scheme, we are welcoming discussion about the importance of preserving and utilising the city’s heritage.”

Karl Creaser, English Heritage’s Principal Adviser for Local Engagement in the North West said, ‘Being a World Heritage Site brings great international prestige and Liverpool’s status is something of which the city’s people are rightly proud. English Heritage strongly believes there are great economic and cultural benefits to having World Heritage Site status but effort, investment and promotion are needed to make sure Liverpool enjoys those benefits.

“We are delighted Liverpool City Council is organising this event which will help ensure the city makes the most of its rich heritage and the great privilege of being a World Heritage Site and are pleased to support it.”

Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, which was inscribed ‘Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City’ by UNESCO in 2004, consists of six distinctive historic areas, which reflect its functional and visual variety. It stretches along the waterfront from Albert Dock through The Pier Head and up to Stanley Dock, and up through the historic commercial districts and the Rope Walks area to the historic cultural quarter around William Brown Street.


About the speakers:

Sir Neil Cossons, OBE
Neil Cossons has had a lifelong love of Liverpool – as a graduate of the University and having married, lived and worked here. As Chairman of English Heritage he oversaw the World Heritage inscription of the City in 2004 and remains an enthusiastic advocate of the City’s great past informing a vibrant future. He is currently Pro-Provost and Chairman of the Council of the Royal College of Art.

James Rebanks – Managing Director and Head of Research, Rebanks Consulting Ltd
Author of a recently completed seminal study on the socio-economics of World Heritage Status, James will set out the findings of his global research on this subject. He will demonstrate his core findings with reference to a number of case study communities around the world. His core argument is that the designation can, and often is, a powerful tool for achieving social and economic aspirations – including raising a place’s profile in new markets and with visitors, investors and funders – but that this requires an intelligent and committed approach.

John Cooper – Director, Deloitte LLP
John is a Director in the Planning team at Deloitte Real Estate. He has extensive experience of preparing and managing complex Planning, Listed Building and Conservation Area applications as well as associated stakeholder engagement processes, and advising on development within sensitive locations including World
Heritage Sites. John has recently been involved in rolling out the Heritage Works document which discusses the role of heritage in regeneration.

Dr Beatriz Garcia
Head of Research, Cultural Policy & Impact at the Institute of Cultural Capital, Liverpool and former director of Impacts08 will outline the preliminary findings of the research project, Heritage, Pride and Place.

Dr Kathryn Roberts
Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Cadw, in Wales, Dr Roberts will explain how public art and the use of new media and digital interpretation have been used to help interpret and promote heritage sites in Wales.

Patrick Power
Pat Power is a Director of Stanley Dock Properties Ltd., the developer responsible for carrying out the regeneration of Stanley Dock. He is also an Executive Director of Harcourt Developments and a Director of the company carrying out the development at the world famous Titanic Quarter, Belfast. He will explain how the Stanley Dock Hotel Development is being successfully delivered in the heart of the World Heritage Site and how the prestige of the WHS status is used as a promotional tool in its marketing.

Liverpool Waterfront