Communities to get involved in Forth Bridge nomination as a World Heritage Site
18 December 2012
The communities of Queensferry and North Queensferry are to be given the opportunity
to get involved in the nomination of the Forth Bridge as a World Heritage Site and find out how the
global recognition could benefit them.
The iconic railway bridge will be put forward to the United Nations Education, Scientific
and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee to be considered for the global recognition
World Heritage expert James Rebanks has been commissioned to begin speaking with
local communities and stakeholders to better understand what opportunities inscription by UNESCO could
The focus of James’ work will be to look at ways in which the nomination can deliver
benefits for the surrounding areas and the results of his work will be developed to shape further consultation
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said:
“I think that for most Scots the Forth Bridge is an obvious and strong candidate
for World Heritage Site status. It is an incredible feat of engineering that is still hugely important
to our rail infrastructure network. It is instantly recognisable to a worldwide audience but in preparing
the nomination we want to involve communities with links to the bridge.
“James has an excellent track record in working with World Heritage Sites and his
research into how different sites have made the most of the designation is being used around the world.
I am delighted that he will be joining the team developing the nomination and that his expertise will
ensure this work has a lasting legacy for Scotland’s communities.”
James’ previous work World Heritage Status – Is there opportunity for economic gain?
received widespread acclaim and was described by UNESCO as “the seminal report on the subject”.
“All of our previous research has shown that being a World Heritage site can deliver
benefits for host communities. But this doesn’t happen by accident, you have to go out and make it happen.
“Our work on the Forth Bridge is to shape what kind of benefits the local communities
want, and to help them make it a reality.”
Initial engagement with selected representatives from local communities and local
organisations will be carried out between now and the end of January with the aim of letting them know
about the World Heritage nomination and discussing ways in which it could benefit them and the area.
This first stage of local community engagement will then inform continued engagement
and consultation with the wider public in spring 2013 culminating in a draft Nomination document and
Management Plan in the summer.
The nomination of the Bridge, first proposed by Fife Council, is being developed
by the Forth Bridge World Heritage Nomination Steering Group which is made up of Transport Scotland,
Network Rail, City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council, VisitScotland, Historic Scotland and local community
It will be considered by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in 2015 and if successful
would join Scotland’s five existing inscribed sites - The Heart of Neolithic Orkney; The Antonine Wall;
The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, New Lanark and the island archipelago St Kilda.
James Rebanks Biography
James is a passionate advocate of innovative ways to better connect cultural and
natural heritage to economics. He is an experienced analyst of environmental and cultural issues with
recent work on the economic benefits of World Heritage status praised by UNESCO as being ‘very excellent’
and ‘the seminal report on the subject’. This work was translated into several languages and has influenced
ongoing research work around the world.
James has been awarded two prestigious international scholarships on
economics and writes for a number of publications. Most recently he was published
in UNESCO’s World Heritage Review (Spring 2011) and is currently developing UNESCO’s sustainable tourism
toolkit for 1000 WH sites.
He regularly lectures and writes on the uses of cultural and natural heritage in
economic development around the world with more than a decade’s experience of working with UNESCO, New
Lanark World Heritage Site (WHS), Edinburgh WHS, Natural England, English Heritage, Cumbria Tourism,
Nurture Lakeland, Lake District National Park Authority, Lake District World Heritage Project, The Arran
Trust, Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd (WHS), Jurassic Coast WHS, Cumbria County Council, Nurture Lakeland,
Renaissance North West, and a large number of other organisations.
Notes for editors
1.The Forth Bridge World Heritage Nomination Steering Group, part of the Forth Bridges
Forum, is made up of Transport Scotland, Network Rail, City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council, VisitScotland
and Historic Scotland.
2.The nomination of the Forth Bridge to be considered as a World Heritage Site is
due to be submitted in early 2014 with a decision expected from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee
in the summer of 2015.
3.Rebanks Consulting work with clients from the cultural, creative, heritage and
environmental sectors. More details on their work can be found at http://rebanksconsultingltd.com
4.Scotland currently has five inscribed World Heritage Sites. They are The Heart
of Neolithic Orkney; The Antonine Wall; The Old and New Town’s of Edinburgh, New Lanark and the island
archipelago St Kilda.
5.Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with
safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers
and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.
Follow us on Twitter @welovehistory and Facebook www.facebook.com/visithistoricscotland
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7.The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and
celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting
year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage,
the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural
tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the
programme can be found at: www.visitscotland.com/creative
8.The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership
by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help
businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at www.visitscotland.org/yearofcreativescotland-toolkit
Network Rail Scotland
Contact:Craig Bowman, Communications Manager
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