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UNESCO turnaround, and other Liverpool futures

The big news this month is that Joe Anderson, erstwhile dismisser of World Heritage Site status (“It’s just a certificate on the wall”) might have come around to our side of the argument.

Of course, WHS status is not just a certificate. It’s not an achievement of something earned in the past. It’s a seal of approval that states that Liverpool is important historically; continues to be. If the certificate goes, this is a sign that Liverpool has lost some of that importance – enough to take it off the leader board.

Now, Anderson has appointed a group of experts to work more closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, as well as UNESCO, to work through the problems recent development proposals have made for the city centre. Full details are on the Liverpool Confidentials website, but highlights of the group (led by Sir David Henshaw) include:

Anderson has blamed austerity for his previous efforts to ignore the importance of the city’s reputation and quality, so let’s see what comes out of this group.

Read: Liverpool Confidentials on Mayor Joe appoints Henshaw in World Heritage ‘U-turn’

Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, a couple of UNESCO bods are in town this month and into next to talk about Liverpool and its World Heritage Site status.

In a session organised by Engage Liverpool CIC, UNESCO’s chief of the Europe and North America unit, Isabelle Anatole-Gabriel, plus Michael Turner and Minja Yang from the organisation, will likely be looking to improve the conversation about UNESCO’s concerns. They’ve been taking a lot of flack, cited by critics as interfering with Liverpool’s local concerns and its attempts to improve its own economy.

The three sessions (one just past, on the 4th October, with another two to come in the next few weeks) will attempt to give the full lowdown on what a WHS is, and what it means for a place like Liverpool.

You can still book tickets on the Engage website:, and read more about the upcoming sessions on Your Move.

Read: UNESCO speakers heading to Liverpool World Heritage Site seminars, at Your Move

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Mapping the History of Liverpool

Interactive maps of Liverpool's suburbs, old maps of Merseyside, and details of our protected, listed heritage.

Cover of the book 'Liverpool: a landscape history'

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