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North West economy boosted by heritage says new research

New research from Historic England has revealed the important contribution of heritage to the North West’s economy.

According to the Heritage Counts 2018 report, the region’s unique historic buildings are boosting employment and tourism spending.

The latest figures show there are 20,800 people directly employed in heritage and that heritage-related tourism generated £1.55 billon in 2016 (the most recent data available).

The number of day visits to the region rose from 13 million in 2012 to 25m in 2016.

Meanwhile converted historic properties (pre-1919) provided 3,170 new homes between 2012 and 2018, up from 786,810 to 789,980.

The report says that heritage-led regeneration can turn derelict historic areas into places where people want to live and work.

It cites the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool as one such historic area in the North West which has been successfully developed into a creative and digital hub.

Baltic Creative, a local community interest company, has almost finished restoring and converting a pair of old warehouses on Norfolk Street (pictured above) into a new digital tech hub with space for up to 30 companies.

Meanwhile in Manchester, the refurbishment of Canada House on Chepstow Street (main image) is noted for combining the “best of modern design” with the building’s original historic features.

Charles Smith, assistant regional director at Historic England, says: “The historic environment in the North West provides jobs and housing, attracts tourists and contributes to the local economy.

“These figures show the value that heritage brings to the region. But it’s not just about money, heritage has a number of social benefits – it can help to create a sense of identity and belonging for communities.

“The significant rise in the number of people making heritage-related day visits in the region is good news. We have rich heritage for people to enjoy.”