Engage has taken part in World Heritage Watch (WHW) events for the past three years and have found the support and encouragement enormously helpful as we try to stop Liverpool losing what many residents consider to be a status of exceptional value. We meet up with people from all over the world who like us are trying to protect their UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS).

Liverpool has featured in their annual report about WHS at risk since 2017 and they can all be found in the Project Downloads section of the Engage with the UNESCO WHS project page. WHW has just published their report for 2020 and you can read it here. Liverpool appears from pages 120-123 and is the first item in Chapter IV Historic Cities and Urban Ensembles. The report we have contributed is entitled: Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City.

The situation with Liverpool continues to be extremely delicate in that the planning application for Everton FC’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock has now been submitted to the City Council and a decision is awaited which is likely to be in  favour of granting the planning application. It then remains to be seen what the UK Government will do in that UNESCO have made it clear that unless the plans are refused Liverpool will loose its World Heritage Site status. It is to be expected that a majority of people in the city, and possibly institutions as well, would be happy enough to see the city deleted from the UNESCO list of city habitats that are worthy of being designated as making a unique contribution to the whole of humanity.

It must be said that Engage and many who value our UNESCO status are very keen to see Everton FC have a new stadium and even more want to see the site developed and access opened up to all our citizens. We are confident that in time development will happen and that the choice today is not simply about a stadium now or dereliction forever but development often requires patience and an ability to wait for the right opportunity at the right moment. Obviously many feel that the stadium is the right proposal at the right time and the consequences of losing our UNESCO status is a price worth paying. Not everyone agrees with that but it is clear where the power lies locally and what is the will of the majority of locals and not just football fans.