The BBC carried an item of news on Radio 4’s Six O’Clock News on Monday 19th June 2017 which was highly critical of the management of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site status as reported by UNESCO in their document preparing for the World Heritage Committee Meeting in Krakow, Poland in July.

Both the local Council and national Government have been given one year to resolve the dispute with UNESCO or we shall lose the status by this time next year. You can listen to the news item HERE:

The item begins at 27.15 mins into the programme.

This clearly shows how important and significant Engage’s Seminar Series is about our UNESCO World Heritage Site which starts in October and proceeds fortnightly for three sessions. You can find out more and book for the series HERE

You can read UNESCO’s Report HERE: WHC Agenda 7a 2017 Liverpool is on pp.43-47.

Engage will be attending the Krakow meeting as part of the World Heritage Watch Forum. A report was prepared by Engage for that meeting which you can read HERE

An article in The Guardian published whilst the WHW Forum was taking place 01.07.17 HERE

You can also read the report in the Echo HERE which contains a response from the City Council.

There is also an interesting article by Larry Neild on Liverpool Confidential HERE and if you scroll down a chance to answer an important question taken from the title of  Engage’s seminar series: Is this a status worth fighting for? It was running at 75% saying YES!

You can follow the same story HERE on the Merseyside Civic Society website and also HERE.

Below you can read the Press Release from SAVE Britain’s Heritage:

UNESCO has issued its strongest warning to date that Liverpool risks losing its coveted ‘World Heritage’ status in 2018, unless the UK Government acts now to make major corrective changes to the way it manages the city’s historic waterfront. This is the first time a definitive date for deletion has been put forward by the international heritage organisation, and would be only the second time ever a cultural site has been deleted from the prestigious global list.


Papers prepared for the July 2017 UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting strongly criticise the UK state party – the Department of Culture, Media and Sport led by Secretary of State Karen Bradley – for inadequate governance systems and planning mechanisms that threaten to undermine the protection of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site.

Liverpool was inscribed in 2004 for its outstanding universal value as, ‘the supreme example of a commercial port at the time of Britain’s greatest global influence’. Its World Heritage Site stretches from the iconic Three Graces on the waterfront to St George’s Hall and Lime Street Station, and covers some 136 hectares of the city.

The city has been on the ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list since 2012 due to concerns about the harmful impact of large scale new development – namely the Liverpool Waters proposals. This highly contentious scheme would see construction of several skyscrapers along the waterfront, the tallest at 55 storeys. Unusually it has a planning permission valid until 2042.

Only two other countries in Europe have sites on the ‘in Danger’ list – Kosovo, and Georgia. Dresden is so far the only one of the 1,000 sites worldwide to have been stripped of its status.

According to the papers, the World Heritage Committee is set to express, ‘its deep concern that the projects already approved as well as those approved in outline have actual and potential highly adverse and irreversible impacts on the OUV (Outstanding Universal Value) of the property.’

It adds that, ‘it is also recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger but consider its deletion from the World Heritage List at its 42nd session in 2018, if the State Party does not reverse course and stop the granting of planning permissions which have a negative impact on the OUV of the property [and] provide substantive commitments to limitation on the quantity, location and size of allowable built form.’

Henrietta Billings, Director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: “This is a final warning shot for Liverpool and the British Government. International heritage status doesn’t just put Liverpool on the world stage, it brings cultural tourism, urban regeneration, and sustainable visitor attractions. Losing it because of crass planning decisions would be an international embarrassment as well as a hugely costly mistake.”

Professor John Belchem, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Liverpool, who was closely involved in securing Liverpool’s World Heritage Site status, said: “Having led the way in regeneration through conservation and the cultural path to urban renewal and well-being, Liverpool has sadly lapsed into polarized and counterproductive opposition between redevelopment and heritage to the understandable concern of UNESCO.”

Jonathan Brown, Director of Liverpool-based planning and tourism consultancy Share the City, said: “Karen Bradley needs to get a grip on her advisors before this little local difficultly becomes an international incident. The UK usually honours her international treaty obligations, but UNESCO have clearly run out of patience with government assurances backed only by inaction. The United Nations expects the world’s cultural treasures to be safe in our hands, and a breach of the treaty would be noted with sadness around the world.”

In July 2016 SAVE wrote to Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to voice our serious concerns at the ongoing state of conservation of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, and called for immediate action to be taken to ensure the city is removed from the World Heritage in Danger list.