Why York is not already designated a World Heritage Site is something of a mystery, but recent progress by a working group, led by former Lord Mayor of York and Civic Trust member, Janet Hopton, and involving several other of our Trustees, gives us cause to hope this omission can be corrected.
The case for York is very strong and recent changes by the Government on how they consider applications, means York now has a good chance of being placed on the tentative list.
The application process has been streamlined and if we are selected for this first stage, York Civic Trust has been involved in moving the project forward to the next stage and beyond.
The application has focused heavily on York`s outstanding archaeology – its well-preserved above and below ground archaeology, the quality of the archaeological deposits and the preservation of organic materials in waterlogged conditions. In addition York is a world famous centre for archaeology with a strong reputation for popularising archaeology (through Jorvik, DIG! and its community excavations as at Hungate), and for the excellence of its international scientific reputation.
Thirty-seven other sites from the U.K. and Overseas Territories have applied for the Tentative List. There is one other from Yorkshire: The Bronte Landscape and Haworth Village. (Currently there are two World Heritage Sites in Yorkshire: Studley Royal & Fountains Abbey and Saltaire.)
Although the Steering Group are confident that York has a very strong case, there is no room for complacency: no more than ten applications, if that, are likely to be successful. York Civic Trust has made a grant of £1,000 to cover the cost of leaflets, car stickers and a banner, all to raise awareness locally and nationally that York has made an application and to enable people to demonstrate support for York`s bid.
Support from individual members of the York Civic Trust would be welcome. This could be simply through raising awareness in conversation or other ways that promote York’s application.