Chester launches World Heritage campaign

Chester has launched a bid to become a World Heritage Site to "help boost the local economy" and "attract funding to help preserve and promote every aspect of its heritage".

Cheshire West & Chester Council will lead the bid process to qualify for the World Heritage List, which is managed by Unesco and only includes places with "outstanding and universal" value.

The WHS listing of Liverpool in recent years attracted critics in the development community who claim it limits new building in protected areas, especially the height of buildings and therefore erodes profit and dampens the scale of regeneration. Supporters say it helps maintain high design standards and protects key assets that underpin the visitor economy.

Three of Cheshire West & Chester's executive members, Cllr Richard Short, culture, Cllr Herbert Manley, regeneration, and Cllr Neil Ritchie, environment, have been tasked to investigate a bid to the World Heritage Committee.

Cllr Mike Jones, leader of the council, said: "With two thousand years of rich history, I believe that Chester has all the assets necessary to qualify for this Premier League of historic attractions.

"From the Walls, Rows, Cathedral and imperial amphitheatre, to some of the earliest council houses in the country – our architectural heritage spans every period from the Romans onwards and is, in part, unique.

"Added to this we have Grosvenor Park, St John's and the Old Dee Bridge, to complement our marvellous riverside area."

Restoration of the Walls, Amphitheatre and Town Hall, plus the recently announced plans to transform the city's Cathedral Quarter are all part of the council's drive to put Chester back where it belongs as an international visitor centre.

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