IN what seems like a "hands off our World Heritage Site" move, Liverpool City Council has urged businesses and organisations to fly the flag for our architectural Oscar by introducing a “badge of pride”.
Later this year, probably October, a team representing Unesco, who dish out the rare WHS awards, will be heading to Liverpool to decide if the city should be placed on an "at risk" register.
'Last time they came and were
content with what Liverpool was
doing to development and protecting
the WHS. This time it is more serious'
That could pave the way for World Heritage status being removed altogether from Liverpool, a step only taken once or twice previously.
The WHS jury will be examining the potential threat to the site posed by Peel’s ambitious plans to create a Manhattan-on-Mersey skyline along the banks of the river.
Peel’s plans currently show a long line of high and mid rise buildings eventually merging with the historic water front and the Three Graces.
Liverpool WatersLast time the UNESCO team visited Liverpool it looked at any potential threat posed to WHS by the developments at Mann Island, including the new Museum of Liverpool. The developments were given the thumbs-up.
One Liverpool source close to the WHS debate said this year’s visit will be much tougher for the city.
“Last time they came and were content with what Liverpool was doing to development and protecting the WHS. This time it is more serious,” they told Liverpool Confidential.
Peel has already amended its plans but says it can’t do any more. It poses a question: what is more important to Liverpool – dynamic (and job creating) developments and regeneration, or the continuing honour of being inscribed on one of the world’s most precious lists? That list includes things such as the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal as well as historic cities around the world.
Now the city council has announced it is introducing a badge of pride to businesses to show their support for Liverpool’s World Heritage status.
The council wants to encourage businesses to adopt specific World Heritage Site branding to let everyone know they’re located in a World Heritage city.
Each of the six historic areas, which form Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, will have new, specially designed signs to let residents and visitors know that the Pier Head, Albert Dock, Stanley Dock, Castle Street, William Brown Street and Lower Duke Street areas are historically significant.
The badges of pride consist of emblems using the expression “Proud to be part of Liverpool World Heritage City”.
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “There has been a great deal of speculation relating to Liverpool’s future as a World Heritage City, but this launch reaffirms our commitment to our title.
“This branding has been a long time in the making and I’m delighted we’ve developed such striking illustrations which will help us spread the word far and wide that we are proud to be home to a World Heritage Site and want to do as much as we can to promote these areas to residents and visitors.
“We’re encouraging business across the city to wear the badge of pride and showcase how important our cultural heritage is.”
The council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy said: “It’s a very careful balance to conserve our historical roots and at the same time encourage the city to grow and expand. However, we believe it’s possible to strike that balance between conservation and regeneration, retaining the value of the World Heritage Site and at the same time meeting the needs of a thriving, modern city.”
Already six organisations have come on board to support the new branding scheme – National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool ONE, Merseytravel, Bibby Line Group, Liverpool Vision and The Albert Dock Tenants Association.
You can see the toolkit and guidelines here.
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