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First road map to put the region's historic assets on track

English Heritage 205/06/05
8th June 2005

A blueprint to revitalise the historic environment in Yorkshire and
the Humber, putting it at the centre of regeneration, is unveiled
today (Thursday 9 June).

The plan - contained in a new publication called "Investing in
Yorkshire's Heritage" - sets out investment priorities over the next
five years, focused on action in the forthcoming year. It has been
produced by the Yorkshire Historic Environment Forum (YHEF),
comprising 19 organisations, including English Heritage, The National
Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Houses Association and
Yorkshire Forward.

In the first ever document of its kind, the heritage sector has
worked in unison to answer two questions: where should we target
limited resources and how do we lever-in more funding to tap the
potential of the region's historic environment? Individual projects
regarded as crucial to the sector are identified. They include:

* Effective management of Thornborough Henges, near Ripon
* Appraisal of conservation areas under development pressure in
Leeds, Malton and Norton and the Vales of York and Mowbray.
* Restoration of the Royal Hall Harrogate, Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds,
and Darnall Works, Sheffield.

The forum has also highlighted thirteen overall investment goals, of
which seven are earmarked as "paramount", including:

* Tackling labour market shortages in conservation skills - a problem
particularly acute in local authorities and the construction
industry. The challenge is highlighted in today's publication of
crafts and skills research by the National Heritage Training Group,
backed by ConstructionSkills and English Heritage. It reports nearly
a quarter of such vacancies in the region go unfilled.

* Surveying, recording and interpreting historic sites under
development pressure, so we know what is important and why.

* Focusing restoration grants on grade I and II* buildings,
especially those in private ownership, industrial buildings and those
under threat from development pressure.

* Ensuring that the implementation of regeneration initiatives, such
as Yorkshire Forward's Renaissance programme, recognise the historic
environment is an opportunity not a constraint.

* Marketing and enhancing existing historic tourist attractions.

* Developing educational outreach initiatives to break down barriers
that leave many people disengaged from the historic environment.

David Fraser, Chair of the Yorkshire Historic Environment said:

"We are fortunate in Yorkshire and the Humber to have such a rich
historic environment from high quality streetscapes, to mills,
workshops, stately homes and opulent parks. But we think this
priceless asset can carry more clout and have a greater impact on
improving the quality of life. A well cared for historic environment
makes the region a more attractive place for inward investment,
provides sustainable housing and office accommodation, earns tourist
revenue and provides a tangible sense of who we are in Yorkshire.
This document underpins our aspirations in these area and many more.
By acting together, organisations working in the heritage sector can
have greater impact and ensure money is spent where it's most needed.
But our greater ambition is to ensure more resources are invested in
historic buildings, areas and landscapes."

According to the document, the region's historic environment
generates £1.2 billion through tourism alone, attracting around nine
million people each year and supporting 35,000 jobs. Progress on
targets will be published in the annual "Heritage Counts" report,
also produced by the YHEF.
Posted by BrigantesNation
9th June 2005ce
Edited 9th June 2005ce

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