Tapping the region's historic assets for regeneration and tourism feature prominently in a new plan published today by English Heritage.
The road-map points the way ahead for the organisation in Yorkshire over the next three years, but underlines that only by forging closer partnerships with other government agencies and communities can the full potential of the region's historic landscape be realised.
Maddy Jago: Putting tourism at the heart of
Yorkshires' historic environment
Protecting our region's historic environment - especially in protected areas like the Yorkshire Dales - will remain at the heart of English Heritage's mission, but with Yorkshire having a greater proportion of highly graded listed buildings than any other English region, it is a sector ripe to be exploited in terms of tourism and the region's economy.
The environment and heritage sector already accounts for £1.25 billion worth of tourism revenue in Yorkshire every year and sustains 35,000 jobs.
Maddy Jago, the recently appointed Planning and Development Director for English Heritage in Yorkshire, said; "This plan sets out the practical steps we will take over the next three years to implement English Heritage's broad strategy for 2005 - 2010, entitled Making the past part of our future".
Adding; "We have already put in train major changes: our statutory and advisory services are more client-focused, our guardianship sites more accessible and profitable and research more responsive to needs".
Key Objectives set out in the report include:
- Working with other organisations, including voluntary associations, land owners, businesses and public bodies, to put the historic environment at the heart of investment strategies for the region, championing its role as a means for economic and social renewal rather than an obstacle.
- Publishing the results of a detailed study into the condition of scheduled ancient monuments in South and West Yorkshire, following similar surveys in the East Riding and North Yorkshire.
- Improving public access to English Heritage's collections through programmes such as the National Monument Record's Viewfinder portal - providing online access to historic photographs.
- Developing a took kit to support the work of local heritage groups, enabling them to identify distinctive features of their neighbourhoods and link them to community activity and panning.
Ms Jago views the historic environment as part of the context within which we live our everyday lives, rather than simply as "a reserve" that we visit in our leisure time, she said; "Our job is not simply to protect the best of the past, but to put it to work in creating better places for people to work, live and visit. We can't face these challenges alone and that's why creating strong partnerships is at the core of the plan".
Copies of document can be downloaded from the English Heritage website