Reinventing the Seaside: Blackpool in Context

Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 April 2009
Blackpool Winter Gardens

Blackpool Blackpool’s special history is rooted in its significance as the world’s first working-class seaside resort and its development into a unique centre of popular entertainment.

Today, still synonymous with fun and excitement, Blackpool constitutes an exceptional cultural landscape – a living, evolving expression of the industrial archaeology of the popular seaside holiday.

 Although always at the forefront of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship (the town’s motto is ‘Progress’), Blackpool continues to retain its core identity and ambience and to sustain its distinctive atmosphere of revelry and participation, with an impressive array of surviving architectures, built environments and entertainment traditions dedicated to the provision of leisure and enjoyment. Blackpool is now at a critical point in its historical development, looking to reinvent itself through a new masterplan, pursued through the urban regeneration company ReBlackpool. The Blackpool Resort Masterplan sets out an ambitious vision that will transform the town by redefining Blackpool’s future as a top-quality, world-class resort destination, improving the lives of residents and visitors alike. The trick will be to combine modernisation and the search for new markets with an appeal to tradition, identity and the heritage of the recent past and to encourage high quality architecture and redevelopment that responds to and respects the history, heritage and special character of the place.

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Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival

27th -28th September 2008

The first The first Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival was held in 2005 and its aim was raise local awareness and appreciation of the unique heritage of the Ironbridge Gorge. ic - DrumsEach year, the Festival has gone from strength to strength and last year several thousand visitors, along with traders and entertainers, came together in the centre of Ironbridge to enjoy the stunning surroundings of the Gorge on a beautiful autumn day.

The 2008 Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival will be held in Ironbridge on Saturday 27 –  Sunday 28 September. The weekend is set to be an exciting and enjoyable time for residents, businesses and visitors as we celebrate the area’s unique heritage. Also, this year we have the added attraction of a light show, organised by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, to mark the regional launch of the Cultural Olympiad, and some of you will already have received details of this from IGMT.

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Mining Landscapes, a Controversial Heritage

13th-15th November 2008, Centre Historique Minier (Mining History Centre) of the Nord-Pas de Calais region

The Nord-Pas de Calais’s Centre Historique Minier and CILAC came together to jointly organize an international symposium relating to all types of mining operations in France and abroad. Historians, geographers, heritage curators, engineers and political leaders will compare points of view and experiences, hoping to establish a detailed picture of research into mining landscapes and learn
about the first results of heritage management of these landscapes.

For more information please follow this link:

If you are interested in this conference, you might also be interested in reading about Masters student, Leonor Medeiros, report on sharing experiences of mining heritage in the UK and Portugal.

Student Mining Heritage project

Leonor Medeiros and Stuart Smith on Carn Brea overlooking Camborne mining town, Cornwall

Leonor Medeiros with Stuart Smith, international industrial heritage expert, on Carn Brea overlooking Camborne mining town, Cornwall

Leonor Medeiros, while studying for a Masters in Heritage Management at the Ironbridge Institute, successfully completed her Work Attachment project with ICOMOS-UK at the end of June. Her project compared the experiences of UK and Portuguese mining sites and landscapes, identifying good practice in Britain to take home to Portugal.

The Report, entitled: ‘Managing Mining Landscapes: Sharing Experiences from the United Kingdom and Portugal‘, considers three sites in southern Portugal, situated on one of the largest sources of iron sulphide in the world, the Iberian Pyrite Belt. These are Lousal, Aljustrel and S. Domingos. Through site visits and meetings with conservation and heritage professionals at Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site and Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, Leonor learned about challenges concerning conservation, interpretation and opportunities for sustainable development and regeneration through, for example, cultural tourism.

Attending the ICOMOS-UK Summer Conference on Cultural Landscape Management enabled Leonor to meet several people involved in the management of industrial heritage, and in addition to field visits in the UK and Portugal, gained valuable experience in understanding how international guidelines such as the European Landscape Convention can be implemented for the successful conservation and presentation of a site.
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Blaenavon – new World Heritage Centre

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

The UK’s first dedicated World Heritage Centre has been officially opened in Blaenavon by First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan. The £2.7 million visitors’ centre tells the story of how Blaenavon helped to change the world during the Industrial Revolution and the international importance of World Heritage status.

Dan Clayton Jones, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for Wales, said:

“This project has helped turn Blaenavon’s fortune around and is a fantastic example of the positive impact lottery players’ money can have in terms of conservation and regeneration, bringing a sense of pride back into the community, attracting visitors to an area and helping a local economy thrive”

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