Press release

Two new UK World Heritage nominations to be put forward

Scotland’s Forth Bridge and Gorham’s Cave Complex in Gibraltar invited to prepare formal bids.

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

Two new sites have been recommended to go forward as the UK’s next World Heritage nominations. The Forth Bridge near Edinburgh has been invited to prepare a nomination for 2014 and Gorham’s Cave Complex in Gibraltar will go forward in 2015, in plans announced by Heritage Minister John Penrose today.

Earlier this year the UK submitted to UNESCO a Tentative List of 11 sites that could be future World Heritage nominations. Those sites which felt ready to go forward straight away were invited to submit a Technical Evaluation, which was assessed by an independent Expert Group. Four sites came forward and the Expert Group recommended the Forth Bridge and Gorham’s Cave Complex should go first and second. 

John Penrose said:

“The UK’s heritage is unique, diverse and world-class. Nomination to UNESCO for world heritage status is incredibly rewarding, but the process is pretty tough and success is by no means guaranteed. Both the Forth Bridge and Gorham’s Cave are strong contenders, so I wish them all the best.”

Once the sites’ nominations have been submitted, they will undergo a demanding 18 month process of scrutiny and evaluation by UNESCO and its advisory body, the International Council on Monuments and Sites. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is expected to take the final decision on the Forth Bridge in June 2015 and on Gorham’s Cave Complex in 2016.

Notes to Editors

  1. The UK currently has 28 World Heritage sites, spread across all four nations of the UK, and a number of UK Overseas Territories. More information can be found on the DCMS website. 
  2. The UK’s current Tentative List of future world heritage nominations was announced in March 2011 and formally submitted to UNESCO in January 2012.
  3. Four Technical Evaluations were submitted from Tentative List sites who wished to go forward straight away with a nomination: Chatham Dockyard and its Defences, England’s Lake District, the Forth Bridge and Gorham’s Cave Complex. In addition, Creswell Crags submitted a Technical Evaluation in order to get informal feedback on the development of its bid.  The Technical Evaluations and Expert Group’s comments are published on the DCMS website today.
  4. The Expert Group which assessed the Technical Evaluations was chaired by Sue Davies OBE, Deputy Chair of the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Its membership was made up of representatives of the four national heritage bodies: Michael Coulter (Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland), Mark Lawson (Historic Scotland), Kathryn Roberts (Cadw) and Christopher Young (English Heritage) together with international experts Susan Denyer and Adrian Phillips, nominated respectively by the UK national committees of the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the two advisory bodies to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
  5. Chatham Docks and the Lake District have not been recommended to go forward at this stage. They will be able to take part in the next round of Technical Evaluations, along with other sites on the UK Tentative List, which will take place in the autumn of 2013.

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Updates to this page

Published 28 May 2012