The city council shared a tweet saying “Liverpool- a great city not defined by labels.”
After 17 years, Liverpool has sadly been stripped of its World Heritage status after a crunch vote decision was made at an Unesco committee meeting taking place in Fuzhou, China today. The World Heritage Committee, holding its 44th session, decided to delete the property “Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City” from the World Heritage List, due to the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property.
Liverpool has been on the Unesco List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012, with the heritage body increasingly concerned about the development of the city’s north docks. The principle concerns revolve around Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters development – but the now approved plans for Everton’s new £500m stadium at Bramley Moore Dock have also been raised by the committee. The Committee described these constructions as “detrimental to the site’s authenticity and integrity”.
In response to this removal of World Heritage status, Mayor Joanne Anderson said: “I’m hugely disappointed and concerned by this decision to delete Liverpool’s World Heritage status, which comes a decade after UNESCO last visited the city to see it with their own eyes. Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition having benefitted from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across dozens of listed buildings and the public realm.
“We will be working with Government to examine whether we can appeal but, whatever happens, Liverpool will always be a World Heritage city. We have a stunning waterfront and incredible built heritage that is the envy of other cities. Our commitment to maintaining and improving our buildings remains as strong as ever and will continue to be a key part of our drive to attract visitors, along with leisure, retail and events.
“I find it incomprehensible that UNESCO would rather Bramley Moore Dock remain a derelict wasteland, rather than making a positive contribution to the city’s future and that of its residents. I’ll now be seeking to draw together all the UK heritage bodies in a round table to plan a positive future with further investment.”
Liverpool was awarded the much-coveted title in 2004 in recognition of its historical and architectural impact, joining places including the Taj Mahal, Egypt’s Pyramids and Canterbury Cathedral. Liverpool’s historic centre and docklands were inscribed for bearing witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries. The site also illustrated pioneering developments in modern dock technology, transport systems and port management.
The votes took place at the annual summit in China this morning which saw 20 votes cast – with 13 in favour of deleting the city, five against the proposal and two ballot papers being invalid. Liverpool is said to become the third site to lose its World Heritage status since the list began in 1978, the other two being Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in 2007 and the Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany in 2009.