Bridlington Spa, East Riding in early evening.
Bridlington Spa, East Riding. © York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership
Bridlington Spa, East Riding. © York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

New Report Highlights Economic Potential of Heritage in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

A new report published today (7 September 2021) highlights the incredible heritage of York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding, and the opportunities it presents for good economic growth.

'Celebrating our Distinctive Heritage' is the first work of its kind in the North of England. Commissioned jointly by Historic England and the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), it builds a better understanding of the area’s historic assets and how people, places and our economy can benefit from a well-maintained historic environment.

The report explores six main areas where opportunities for good growth are likely to be focused: market towns, coastal towns, lowland agricultural landscapes, the uplands of the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales, and the city of York.

The report also addresses the on-going impact of Covid-19, and the opportunities it creates for our places. Lockdown restrictions have resulted in widespread home working, increased digitisation, and further growth in online retail. People working from home have rediscovered what is on their doorstep, with essential retail and greenspaces acting as lifelines during lockdown. Meanwhile, a ‘staycation boom’ has seen people turning to all corners of the UK for leisure and holidays, with York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding proving to be popular destinations.

A Heritage and Culture Strategy Group made up of key regional partners has been formed to take forward the report’s recommendations. This group will guide strategy, target investment and drive delivery.

Our shared heritage has the power to enrich all of our lives, bringing beauty and history into our everyday experience, providing homes, workplaces and leisure opportunities, and helping define our place in the world. Crucially, our heritage also provides us with economic assets that can fuel good growth. We want to see how we can help to turn the report’s recommendations into actions, which will create sustainable new futures for our beautiful old places across York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding.

Trevor Mitchell, Regional Director, North East and Yorkshire Historic England

This report can be used as a blueprint – both locally and beyond – for levelling-up heritage, creating a better understanding and appreciation of the region’s historic environment, attracting investment and ensuring that heritage priorities are reflected in stakeholders’ plans and delivery actions. We see it as a call to action for thinking and acting differently about our heritage and our places.

Helen Simpson OBE, Chair York & North Yorkshire LEP