Celebrating Our Distinctive Heritage

How the historic environment of York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding can help achieve Good Growth

Jointly commissioned by Historic England and the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding has a fantastically rich cultural heritage, ranging from the prehistoric, Roman, Viking and medieval history of York itself, to the industries and agriculture that helped build the region’s places from the earliest times. This combines to create an unmistakeable sense of place, but also provides distinctive identities for its many communities.

Happily, this heritage is already highly valued and economically important, with heritage estimated to account for GVA of £2.1 billion and 41,000 jobs across the wider region. But this contribution could be much more significant. Good Growth (as defined in the York and North Yorkshire LEP's Local Industrial Strategy) offers a range of opportunities to enhance the contribution made by the historic environment and cultural heritage, and to steer the right growth to the right places.

This document sets a high-level framework to aid businesses, delivery partners and the general public, by:

  • providing an appreciation of the quality, character and importance of York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding’s historic places and landscapes; and
  • helping identify opportunities for ‘win-win-win’ development in the region – securing positive outcomes for people, the economy and the historic environment.

In addition, the document establishes priorities for action on the part of key partners and stakeholders to unlock development potential, improve understanding and enhance the contribution of heritage to the region’s economy.

This document is necessarily strategic, focusing on the key themes of the region’s heritage grouped around market and coastal towns; lowland, estate and upland landscapes; and York. It provides an introduction to the history of the region, structuring discussion of the challenges facing these historic places, the opportunities for the historic environment to contribute to sustainable development and priorities for action.


  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • What's there, and why it's important
  • Market towns
  • Coastal towns
  • Lowland agricultural landscapes
  • Estate landscapes
  • The Uplands
  • York
  • Conclusions and recommendations

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed


If you require an alternative, accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact us:

Customer Service Department

Telephone: 0370 333 0607
Email: [email protected]