Hopes of £20m boost as Lake District is named World Heritage Site

Ullswater from Gowbarrow Park
Lake District National Park Authority
Ullswater from Gowbarrow Park

THE Lake District National Park has been officially named as a World Heritage site - bringing hopes of a £20m boost to Cumbria's economy,

UNESCO listed the site on its World Heritage Status List today at the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee.

A national park since 1951, the Lake District now joins some of the most iconic locations on the planet including the Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon as a place of international acclaim.

The announcement in Krakow has led to jubilation among 25 organisations in the Lake District National Park Partnership who had put the bid together for UNESCO recognition in the cultural landscape category.#

It now joins just over 1,000 World Heritage Sites worldwide.

Chairman of the Partnership, Lord Clark of Windermere, described the prestigious status as "momentous" and will bring great benefits for locals, visitors, tourism, businesses and farming.

Lord Clark said: “It is this exceptional blend which makes our Lake District so spectacularly unique and we are delighted UNESCO has agreed. A great many people have come together to make this happen and we believe the decision will have long and lasting benefits for the spectacular Lake District landscape, the 18million visitors we welcome every year and for the people who call the National Park their home."

Economic experts believe change in status could be worth another £20m in benefits.

Lake District National Park Chief Executive, Richard Leafe, said there was great excitement over the achievement.

Richard said: “The Lake District is an evolving landscape that has changed over time and will continue to do so. Improving landscape biodiversity and looking after our cultural heritage underpin the Partnership’s management plan which sets out how, together, we will look after the National Park as a World Heritage Site for everyone to enjoy.”

The bid, the UK's only submission for 2016, was submitted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Historic England.

Following the meeting held in Krakow, John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said: "The Lake District is one of the UK’s most stunning and ancient landscapes and I am thrilled it has been granted World Heritage Site status.

"It is a unique part of the world, that combines a vibrant farming community with thousands of archaeological sites and structures that give us an amazing glimpse into our past.”

He added: "This decision will undoubtedly elevate the position of the Lake District internationally, boosting tourism and benefiting local communities and businesses."

To mark the National Park's World Heritage status people are being invited to come together for a Picnic in the Park next weekend.

They are being encouraged to take a trip to their favourite picnic spot, cafe, garden or fellside and share photos using #WeAreTheLakes.

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