Strong culture and heritage

Restoration and regeneration of heritage assets creates a strong sense of place, provides new economic opportunities and supports health and wellbeing​

York and North Yorkshire has an abundance of heritage assets, ranging from the prehistoric, Roman, Viking and medieval, which includes archaeological remains, historic field patterns in our agricultural landscape, and historical buildings (including some of the oldest housing stock in the country).​

​The diversity and distinctiveness that has developed over centuries combines to create an unmistakeable sense of place and community identity. It has also become an important product and attraction for tourists. ​

​Our heritage assets can be a catalyst for further opportunities, such as economic growth and regeneration in an area; driving tourism; inspiring new and imaginative developments; minimising waste; and supporting health and wellbeing engagement within our communities. Ultimately, these assets are what makes York and North Yorkshire so unique and special.​

​Protect the unique qualities of historic buildings and improve their energy and carbon performance​

Building sustainability of our heritage assets (buildings of historical construction (pre 1919) including homes and non-domestic buildings) is critical, both for the transition to carbon negative and to future proof these assets. Done correctly, the economic impact could be monumental – research from Historic England suggests it could generate £35bn of outputs annually for the UK, alongside 290,000 jobs, more efficient homes that are less expensive to heat, and reduced fuel poverty. ​

​Appropriate conservation will require specialist construction skills, such as stone masonry, providing an opportunity for the construction sector to scale up.​

​Maintain and enhance our cultural offer to ensure all of York and North Yorkshire is an attractive place to work, live, learn and invest​

Culture can mean many things to different people and is difficult to define, often interlinked with an area’s heritage, creative industries and tourism. It can range vastly, covering art, music, film, literature, architecture, museums, theatre and sport. ​

​York and North Yorkshire already has a strong asset base to build upon and develop further. It ranges from hyper-local and community-based activity to internationally known events, alongside many cultural partnerships in place to support the sector.​

​Culture is important for place-making and quality of life, employment and the economy, and the health and wellbeing of our residents.​

​Our focus will be to…​

  • ​Further understand and maximise the social, cultural and economic opportunity from our world leading assets​
  • Drive the economic opportunity from decarbonising our heritage assets whilst maintaining their quality and value​
  • Develop the skills opportunity from our high value cultural and heritage assets, particularly linked to decarbonisation​


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