09 Jan 2014
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ICOMOS-UK welcomes the announcement made today by the Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey, that the UK proposes to submit to UNESCO a nomination for World Heritage status for the Lake District in 2016 . The nominations for 2014 and 2015 have already been agreed as being for the Forth Bridge, near Edinburgh, and for Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar.

The Lake District has been on the UK’s Tentative List since the 1985. Previous consideration of this site by UNESCO prompted an international debate on landscape properties that led to the new category of Cultural Landscapes being approved by the Committee in 1992.

We also welcome the recommendations of the Expert Panel who advised the Minister that sites moving forward for nomination need support and guidance.

ICOMOS-UK is fully committed to making its resources and knowledge available to support Government and the bid partnerships in the development of these nominations, to ensure that not only are they presented in the most robust way possible but that they also have in place strong governance systems and tourism and sustainability strategies to ensure that they could benefit from World Heritage status if successfully inscribed.


The UK Tentative List

UK World Heritage Tentative List was agreed by UK Government in May 2011, following a consultation and application process and a review by an independent Expert Panel. The List of 13 sites was submitted to UNESCO in January 2012.  The Expert Panel made a series of recommendations aimed in part at ensuring a robust system for future nominations. One recommendation was for a Technical Evaluation of sites wishing to be nominated undertaken by an Expert Group, in order that only sites which have the best possible chance of success should embark on the world heritage nomination process.

The Expert Group

A Expert Group was convened on 22 November 2013 to assess the Technical Evaluations that had been submitted and to provide advice to ministers on which sites – if any - should go forward for nomination and when. The Group also provided feedback to sites on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual cases and on further work that is needed.

The Expert Group was chaired by Sue Davies (then Deputy Chair of the UK National Commission for UNESCO). Its members were representatives of key UK cultural and natural heritage bodies:

·           Michael Coulter (Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland)

·           Lesley Macinnes (Historic Scotland)

·           Kathryn Roberts (Cadw)

·           Sue Cole (English Heritage)

·           Adrian Phillips (IUCN UK)

·           Susan Denyer (ICOMOS-UK)

·           Tony Weighell (Joint Nature Conservation Committee)

·           Dr Sam Rose (Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site)

·           Dr Alison Hems (Bath Spa University)


The secretariat was provided by Francesca Conlon (Head of Heritage, DCMS).

The group subsequently made recommendations to the Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey. After considering the group’s advice, the Minister has today announced his decision on which sites should go forward for nomination, and in what order.