NW sites make World Heritage UK short-list

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose has announced two sites in the North West and one in North Wales have made it onto a UK short-list as a potential UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Lake District in Cumbria and the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire are the two sites from the North West that have made the short-list.

The Jodrell Bank, which is home to the Lovell Telescope, is currently undergoing a £3m facelift including a brand new Discovery Centre.

Teresa Anderson, director of the new Discovery Centre, said: "We're absolutely delighted to hear that we have been included on the UK Tentative List for World Heritage Site status.

"Jodrell Bank has earned its place on the list by being a place where live science has completely reframed the way in which humanity sees its place in the Universe.

"The priority for Jodrell Bank is research. This is its guiding principle, which means that research always takes precedence over conservation of its telescopes just as monuments to past achievements."

The Slate Industry in Gwynedd, North Wales, was also put forward as one of 11 venues under consideration for the honour.

The 11 sites that have been whittled down from a list of 38 include:

  • Chatham Dockyard and its Defences, Kent
  • Creswell Crags, Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire
  • The Lake District, Cumbria
  • Gorham's Cave Complex, Gibraltar
  • The Island of St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
  • Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire
  • Mousa, Old Scatness & Jarlshof, Shetland
  • Slate Industry of North Wales
  • The Flow Country, Scotland
  • The Forth Bridge (Rail), Scotland
  • Turks & Caicos Islands, West Indies

The UK Tentative List will be submitted to UNESCO with an aim of nominating new sites from 2012.

Penrose added: "The 11 places that make up the new UK Tentative List are fantastic examples of both our cultural and natural heritage and I believe they have every chance of joining famous names like the Sydney Opera House and the Canadian Rockies to become World Heritage Sites.

"I'd like to thank the independent expert panel chaired by Sue Davies who have been through all our nominations in detail to make sure the shortlist we now have gives us the best chance of success when putting forward any of these sites to UNESCO in future."

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.

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