Isle of Man News - POSTED Mon 24-05-2010

Island bids for World Heritage List status

by Bill Dale

Island bids for World Heritage List status

THE Isle of Man is making a bid to be placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Visitors, residents and overseas supporters are being urged to show their support for two groundbreaking bids for World Heritage status, which will be submitted by Manx National Heritage on behalf of the Manx people. 

The United Kingdom has opened up bids for the first time in a decade and MNH is racing against time to hit the June deadline.  The Council of Ministers has expressed its full support for the bid.

Tynwald Hill and its importance as the oldest continuous parliamentary site in the world will form the basis of the Isle of Man's first application. Bids for World Heritage status have to demonstrate the international nature of the site and a World Heritage site has to offer the world something today. 

The Isle of Man's second application will cover the Laxey valley from Snaefell to the sea, which has a unique and internationally important complex of monuments from the industrial period. 

UNESCO looks for evidence of traditions continuing to be relevant to the present day and for sites to be protected. In Laxey, the Manx Electric Railway, the Mountain Railway, Laxey Wheel, Laxey Flour Mill and Laxey Woollen Mill still operate today.

There is a Conservation Area in place and the Laxey Wheel is in the care of the Manx Museum and National Trust, the Island’s heritage agency. The Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust demonstrate the community support for its heritage – even re-opening the Mines Railway with replica engines and reconstructing the Snaefell Wheel.

If successful, Tynwald Hill and the Laxey Valley will join a list of 28 World Heritage sites in the United Kingdom such as Hadrian’s Wall and Stonehenge.  

The Isle of Man's applications will be assessed by a panel of independent experts appointed by the UK Government, with a list submitted to UK Ministers for approval before going forward to UNESCO in 2011.

The Manx public and visitors can assist the Island in achieving World Heritage Status by writing to Manx National Heritage at the Manx Museum in Douglas, email, or provide your feedback via links on the Manx National Heritage Facebook page.  

Photo: Laxey Wheel - part of the Island's
application to UNESCO (Bill Dale)

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