News story

Eleven sites make UK shortlist to bid for UNESCO World Heritage status

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A total of 11 sites across the UK and its overseas territories will form the new UK list for potential nomination for world heritage status.

From the very north of Scotland to the garden of England in Kent, the sites on the list announced today by Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose are:

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

Two sites that are being considered by UNESCO already will also join the Tentative List, they are:

  • Twin Monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, Sunderland and South Tyneside, England
  • Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory, Kent, England

John Penrose said: “Few places in the world can match the wealth of wonderful heritage we have available in the UK. 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.”

Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage said: “English Heritage welcomes the announcement of the new UK Tentative List as it will set the direction for future nominations by the UK for the next decade.  English Heritage has supported the work on the preparation of the new List along with Historic Scotland, Cadw and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and looks forward to working with the English candidate sites as they develop their nominations.”
The Twin Monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow and Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory are already under consideration by UNESCO. Wearmouth-Jarrow was nominated to UNESCO in January and will be considered by the World Heritage Committee in 2012. Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory was nominated in 2009 but deferred by the World Heritage Committee last year for further in depth assessment.

The new Tentative List will now be submitted to UNESCO with the aim of nominating new sites from 2012. There will not necessarily be a new nomination every year. Whether sites on the Tentative List are given a nomination slot will depend on the robustness of their case and the likelihood of inscription by the World Heritage Committee. DCMS will be working with all the sites on their nominations.

Notes to Editors

  1. Today’s announcement follows a review of the UK’s Tentative List in which applications were sought from Local Authorities and the public. 38 applications were put forward a full list can be found at the DCMS website.

  2. An independent expert panel was then appointed by Government to assess the applications and put forward their recommendations for the sites to be included on the new UK Tentative List. More information about the panel can be found at the DCMS website

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