The value of our built heritage

bonamargyThere was a Ministerial Summit today in Belfast, on the subject of the contribution of our built heritage to NI’s economy.

In a pre-Summit interview with the BBC, Minister Attwood said,

Our historic environment generates an annual output of £0.5bn and sustains 10,000 jobs. We can generate more. The equivalent figures for Wales are £1,837m output and 30,000 jobs. In the Republic, 1.5bn euro in annual national wealth and 37,000 jobs so we can realise far more from our unique assets.

This rightly challenges the assumption that the protection of our historic environment works against the economy. Rather, with creativity, good management and investment, our built heritage can become the stimulus to economic development – people want to visit, to shop in, to study in, to live in, a rich historic and cultural context. For some interesting perspectives and evidence, see here and here.

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