Britain's Industrial Heritage seeks World Status

A number of British Heritage sites have been nominated for recognition by UNESCO

When Mrs Thatcher took Britain out of Unesco in 1985, the UK’s list of World Heritage Sites, which Unesco administers was frozen. A couple of months after Labour’s election victory, Britain rejoined Unesco and Chris Smith’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport began dusting down its list of possible further British sites. Greenwich and Edinburgh quickly joined the club; then last summer the DCMS published a ‘tentative list’ of possible further nominations.

World Heritage Sites exist to protect and promote understanding of places that are of ‘outstanding universal value’ for their cultural and/or natural qualities. Britain’s pre-1985 sites included such cultural icons as Stonehenge, the Tower of London and Ironbridge Gorge. The new list’s biggest grouping is called simply ‘Industrialisation’, implying that historically Britain’s most important gift to the world has not been football or television but the Industrial Revolution.

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