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Celebrating Our Distinctive Heritage

Celebrating Our Distinctive Heritage

This report builds a better understanding of the historic environments of York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding. It’s a stocktake of the area’s incredible heritage and highlights wide-ranging opportunities for good economic growth. It’s also a call to action for thinking and acting differently.

Written during the pandemic, the report - a joint commission with Historic England - highlights the resilience, potential but also vulnerability of the area’s historic places. There is a need to adapt to changing times, and that includes decarbonisation and the effects of climate change.

The work also highlights how people, places and the economy benefit from a well-maintained historic environment. Conservation and adaptation of historic buildings has major benefits in terms of sustainability, can contribute to regenerating town centres and can help unlock local economic opportunities. Findings also shine a light on the strong diversity of York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding’s historic environment, rich with clear and distinctive character, underpinning the area’s identity. Indeed, it is this distinctive character that makes the area such as great place to live, work, study and visit.

Heritage is an important driver for good growth, and we hope this report will act as a catalyst for change. A Heritage and Culture Strategy Group has been formed, drawn from the project and other regional partners, to guide strategy, target investment and drive delivery. This work carries importance further afield too, as York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding area – comprised of cities, market towns, coastal towns and rural landscapes ­– can easily be viewed as a microcosm of the UK.

This report is very much the start of a process. It can be a blueprint for levelling-up heritage, creating a better understanding and appreciation of the region’s historic environment, attracting investment and ensuring that heritage priorities are reflected in stakeholders’ plans and delivery actions.

View the full report.