The panel that will decide on nominations for the next round of World Heritage Sites in the UK – there are seven from the North West and North Wales in the long-list – met for the first time last week.
In July, a list was published of 38 places that had put themselves forward to be considered for nomination as a World Heritage Site.
Up for consideratuion from this region are Blackpool, Chester Rows, Jodrell Bank Observatory, the Lake District, the Laxey Valley, slate industry of North Wales and Tynwald Hill and environs, the Norse assembly sites of North West Europe in the Isle of Man.
John Penrose, tourism and heritage minister, said: "The variety and unique nature of the UK's heritage is recognised around the world.
"But if we're to succeed in getting more UK sites awarded World Heritage Status we have to make sure the strength of the nominations we put forward are second to none. I'm in no doubt that the expert panel chaired by Sue Davies will do a fantastic job in whittling down the list to ensure we have the very best chance of succeeding in front of UNESCO in the future."
The so-called 'Tentative List' of nominations will be completed by spring next year and submitted to Unesco. Nominations from this list will then be put forward from 2012 for inclusion on the World Heritage List.
The existing World Heritage Sites in the North West and North Wales are six parts of Liverpool, for its maritime mercantile history, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wrexham and the Castles and town walls of king Edward in Gwynedd.