Liverpool makes last-ditch bid to salvage World Heritage Status
Leaders Steve Rotheram and Joanne Anderson were among those who signed an open letter to Unesco asking the agency to defer any decision to strip the city of its title, insisting heritage and regeneration can go hand in hand.
Scroll down for full list of signatories
The letter also included an invitation to Unesco to visit Liverpool and see that the city’s World Heritage Site “should be shown up as an exemplar of best practice in heritage-led regeneration”.
“We would like to make it absolutely clear that the city does not want to lose this status,” the letter states.
“Deletion…would be a missed opportunity in demonstrating to the world that heritage and regeneration are not mutually exclusive.”
Unesco is due to make a decision on whether or not to remove Liverpool’s World Heritage Status designation this week.
Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City was awarded the title in 2003. The area covers 340 acres and includes the Three Graces, Albert Dock, the Stanley Dock and Duke Street conservation areas, as well as the city’s commercial and cultural quarters.
However, in 2012, Liverpool was placed on Unesco’s ‘endangered’ list, a response to concerns over the approval of Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters project.
Earlier this year, Everton was granted consent to build a £500m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which falls within Liverpool Waters and the World Heritage Site.
The Everton project would include a £50m to upgrade of heritage assets at the dock and “bring millions of people to the shores of the Mersey over the coming decades to watch football, as well as to experience and learn about the city’s and Britain’s maritime past,” the letter to Unesco said.
The Unesco designation has split opinion in Liverpool in recent years.
Some commentators believe the accolade has stunted development in the city and Liverpool should willingly give it up, while others argue the designation is a good thing for the city, especially in terms of tourism.
Liverpool’s relationship with Unesco has become increasingly strained over the last decade, as the city council has attempted to balance regeneration with the need for heritage preservation.
In a bid to placate Unesco, Liverpool City Council last year unveiled the North Shore Vision framework, a document aimed at guiding development across 260 acres of protected dockland in a manner that would preserve and enhance the World Heritage Site.
However, the document is yet to be formally adopted.
The full list of signatories is as follows:
Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region
Kim Johnson, MP, Liverpool Riverside
Lord Michael Heseltine
Lord Mike Storey
Tony Reeves, chief executive, Liverpool City Council
Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief executive, Everton Football Club
Billy Hogan, chief executive, Liverpool Football Club
Steven Underwood, chief executive, The Peel Group
Asif Hamed, chair, Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership
Paul Cherpeau, chief executive, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce
Dame Janet Beer, vice-chancellor, University of Liverpool
Ian Campbell, vice-chancellor, Liverpool John Moores University
Gerald Pillay, vice-chancellor, Liverpool Hope University
Alan Vallance, chief executive, RIBA
Sir David Henshaw, chair, National Museums Liverpool
Helen Legg, director, Tate Liverpool and chair, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool
Sam Lackey, director, Liverpool Biennial
Michael Parkinson, Liverpool World Heritage Task Force
Claire Dove, chair of trustees, St George’s Hall
Gavin Davenport, chair, Merseyside Civic Society
Sir Neil Cossons, former chair, English Heritage
Willy Russell, playwright
Most Revd. Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool, OP
Rev. Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool
Rt Rev Beverley Mason, Bishop of Warrington
Very Rev Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool Cathedral