Young people help bring Greyfriars Kirkyard to life
This summer, a holiday club led by Edinburgh World Heritage and Archaeology Scotland worked with young people from 6VT Youth…
21st July 2021
Edinburgh World Heritage
Liverpool has now been stripped of its World Heritage status following a vote by the World Heritage Committee at a meeting in China. UNESCO previously had cited the “serious deterioration and irreversible loss of attributes” caused by new waterfront development within Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site as the reason. We believe this represents a loss for the people of Liverpool, for the UK, and for the entire international community.
The site in Liverpool is made up of six different locations that are home to some of the city’s most important landmarks such as the Cunard Building, the Liver Building, St. George’s Hall, the Victoria Tower, and the Albert Dock warehouses. In 2012, the site was added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger due to a flurry of new construction and proposed developments, which would harm the Outstanding Universal Value in the immediate area, including the planned Liverpool Waters scheme, and carried out against the recommendations of heritage advisors.
What are the implications for Edinburgh?
In 2015, a visit was made by ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites) to Edinburgh. They subsequently raised concerns regarding a cluster of developments. This resulted in a formal letter from Mechtild Rossler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the Heritage Division. However, despite the large amount of new development in and around the Old and New Towns, Edinburgh’s World Heritage status is not under imminent threat. The recent decision to stop the plan to transform the Old Royal High School into a luxury hotel has confirmed that new development that threatens the heritage value of the site will not be permitted. We are encouraged that more recent development projects, such as the plan for the vacant area behind Jury’s Inn in the Old Town, show more respect for the context and authenticity of the site.
The fate of Liverpool does however throw up some important lessons for Edinburgh.
We are saddened by the expected loss of Liverpool’s World Heritage status, and together with our partners we remain committed to protecting Edinburgh’s World Heritage status and the benefits it beings to the city and its people.
Get the latest updates on our work in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage site, plus news, events and exclusive offers.