Historic England has contact with heritage professionals and responsible departments in almost every country worldwide. Our advice and experience as a heritage protection agency is highly sought after and delivered at many levels, bilaterally and multilaterally. Supported by UK government, our international collaborations include shared research projects, conference/seminar attendance and individual consultations.
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UK Government and the Government of China have been strengthening their relationship through the People to People (P2P) initiative. In December 2016 Historic England (representing immovable cultural heritage for the first time) was invited to Shanghai and included in the cultural dialogue as part of this process.
One of the initiatives that emerged was to develop collaboration between those involved in the management of Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China.
At the 2017 P2P Historic England and the China Academy of Cultural Heritage signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to share experience and good practice in the management of the two properties, while recognising the different scale of challenges that confront them.
John Glen, former British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said it is a "perfect example of how heritage can be used to strengthen international partnership, grow tourism and build a truly global Britain".
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said that he was “delighted to see how the initial discussions about our two walls after P2P in Shanghai last year have brought us to this MOU signing today. We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration between Historic England and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage."
During the Prime Minister’s trip to China in February 2018, a further MOU was signed between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Chinese State Administration for Cultural Heritage (SACH) to widen and deepen the collaboration between the UK and China in the area of cultural heritage.
The Wall 2 Wall Seminar - the first initiative of the MOU was held in Newcastle in March 2018.
The Rooswijk was a Dutch East India Company vessel which sank on the treacherous Goodwin Sands, off Kent, in January 1740. The ship was outward bound for Batavia (modern-day Jakarta) with trade-goods. Now a protected wreck site the ship's remains lie at a depth of some 20 metres and are owned by the Dutch Government, and managed by Historic England on behalf of the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport.
In 2006 Historic England (then English Heritage) created and hosted the first meeting of the European Heritage Heads Forum (EHHF) in London.
The European Heritage Heads Forum is an informal professional and expert network for national heritage heads (built heritage, landscapes and archaeology) of the European Union and European Economic Area. It provides a forum for information and experience exchange about the management of the historic environment in the 21st century. The members of the EHHF meet annually to highlight their shared interest in the cultural heritage of Europe.
There are numerous formal and informal collaborations between Historic England and counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Historic Environment Scotland, Cadw and the Historic Environment Division, NI).
At the strategic level, the heads (chief executives) of the four agencies/departments meet twice a year at the Home Countries Heritage Agencies Chief Executives (HACE) meetings hosted in rotation across the four home countries.
At the invitation of the British Embassy in Chile, Historic England participated in an event exploring the future of the historic port city of Valparaiso, a World Heritage Site. The city is facing considerable development pressures which threaten its historic character.
Drawing on the many parallels with Liverpool and other industrial port cities in the UK, Historic England was able to help facilitate a discussion with all the key stakeholders in the city. These included local politicians, local campaigners, maritime and land-based industrial interests, the Chilean Navy and the general public.
The event helped identify ways in which the city’s unique heritage could co-exist with successful business development and the provision of amenities for the wider population. Historic England remains in contact with the project.
Historic England has worked on two recent projects in South Korea. The first was to participate in a conference exploring how heritage assets and the areas around them could be protected successfully without adversely affecting the need for new development.
By comparing the systems operating in England, France and elsewhere, the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches were identified and it is hoped that this information will influence future heritage protection legislation in the country. A Historic England staff member delivered a presentation and also prepared an additional paper on the heritage protection system in England.
Following on from that project, Historic England gave detailed advice on the possible designation of an important historic landscape as a World Heritage Site. A report was produced for the local partners to guide their future work.