Hadrian’s Wall and Great Wall of China seal deal

The tourism and heritage minister has unveiled his new heritage strategy, including a unique collaboration between Hadrian’s Wall and The Great Wall of China.

John Glen MP said that representatives from the two World Heritage Sites will work together to examine the challenges and opportunities of managing large, complex archaeological remains and explore the potential tourism growth in both countries.

His new Heritage Statement outlines how he wants to strengthen the sector, through regeneration and skills.

Measures in the statement include a new Heritage Council, chaired by the minister, to emphasise the value of the historic environment.

A commemorative scheme will be introduced in England to celebrate the events, people and places that have shaped local communities.

Historic England and Heritage Lottery Fund will work with the minister to support the digitisation of historic environment records and heritage archives to help councils make informed planning decisions.

Glen said: “The Wall to Wall Collaboration is the perfect example of how heritage can be used to strengthen international partnerships, grow tourism and build a truly global Britain.”

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, added: “We look forward to delivering a new place-marker scheme to enable local communities to identify, mark and celebrate the events, people and places that are important to them, along with eight new Heritage Action Zones which will help to revive towns and cities that are rich in heritage.”

Historic England and Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, which manages the Great Wall, will hold a seminar in Newcastle next year, as the first step in a wider programme of collaboration.

The minister also celebrated the strength of UK heritage in his speech at the Heritage Day conference, organised by Heritage Alliance.

The UK heritage sector contributed £987 million to the UK economy last year – a rise of 7% on 2015 – and employs 278,000 people.