Bradford Council is reaffirming its commitment to maintaining Saltaire’s UNESCO World Heritage status, after Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City was stripped of the designation last week.
Liverpool was inscribed in 2004 but put on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012 following concerns. UNESCO considered that new developments and future proposals at Liverpool are detrimental to the site’s authenticity and integrity.
Recently, Bradford Council has made a number of investments to Saltaire, including restoring stone pavements, creating new footpaths to the surrounding neighbourhoods, and proposing an active travel zone to make the village more accessible to live, work and visit. Have your say on Saltaire Active Travel Neighbourhood by 17th August 2021 here www.activetravelbradford.commonplace.is
Pavements have been repaired and improved by re-using stone where possible, or using new natural Yorkshire stone to improve accessibility with dropped kerbs and stone tactile paving. The materials and quality of work are to a very high standard appropriate to the World Heritage Site. New riverside paths have been created with new interpretation boards, trees, benches and way markers to encourage local people and visitors to explore attractions on foot in the wider area.
Bradford Council has also invested in temporary pavement extensions on Gordon Terrace to provide more space for pedestrians, to improve the environment for customers and the general public and assist businesses by providing more space to trade safely during Covid where possible, with the assistance of the Towns Fund Accelerator Programme.
Bradford’s Local Plan promotes protection of Saltaire World Heritage Site. Developments within the Site or its Buffer Zone are checked. The Council monitor changes closely and enforce to protect World Heritage status where appropriate. Much guidance and advice is available for property owners to understand what is acceptable. There has been an increase in applications for Listed Building Consent and investment in properties in Saltaire during 2020-21 with owners improving window and door details and re-roofing. This means the character and appearance of Saltaire World Heritage Site is gradually improving.
The Council works closely with partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors to secure improvements to Saltaire. The Saltaire World Heritage Site Steering Group meets twice a year chaired by Councillor Ross-Shaw. Historic England representatives who advise UNESCO attend this and, and in June the Head of International Strategy confirmed that there are no reasons for concern at Saltaire.
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We are very proud of Saltaire and value our district’s important and fascinating heritage.
“The Council and our partners are committed to protect the village’s UNESCO status and will continue to invest in its protection and enhancement.”
Saira Ali, Team Leader, Landscape, Design and Conservation, “We are continually researching and bidding for funds and opportunities to enhance the heritage. We have been successful in securing Government and other funding available to make improvements and invest in Saltaire where possible and appropriate in line with World Heritage Status.”
Sheena Campbell, Saltaire’s World Heritage Officer states,
“This year Saltaire is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of being a World Heritage Site. We are working hard on protection, enhancement and promotion. The Council co-ordinates a new Collaboration group that has brought forward a programme of events by dedicated community groups to celebrate ‘Mills and Model villages’ featured at www.visitsaltaire.com.”
Bradford welcomes the two new UK World Heritage Sites;
they are the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales and the Great Spa Towns of Europe, which includes the City of Bath. The UK now has 33 cultural and natural WHSs across all four home nations and in four overseas territories. Bath demonstrates exceptional Georgian town planning and architecture.
Saltaire was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. It was recognised for its international influence on town planning and as one of the earliest, largest and best preserved nineteenth century ‘model villages’ in the world, with Italianate architecture for mills, houses and public buildings.