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Political backing for York to get World Heritage Status.

world heritage

6:18am 11th January 2011

York's bid to become a World Heritage site will be discussed in a prestigious debate at the Houses of Parliament this week.

Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, has obtained an Adjournment Debate on the bid in Westminster Hall, which will also be attended by Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer.

The debate will focus on the detail of York's submission to the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). The city is bidding to be placed on the new UK Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, an essential step in its ambitions to become a World Heritage Site. York is bidding on the basis of the incredibly well preserved archaeological deposits that lie beneath the city, telling the tale of York's history through everyday items used by the Romans, Saxons, and Vikings, as well as later settlers.  

Janet Hopton, chairman of York World Heritage Steering Group, said:

"We've been delighted and encouraged by the widespread support the bid has received, though most people assume that York already has World Heritage status. We're very grateful for the support we`ve received from our two local MPs. Their success in securing the Adjournment Debate is a great help as we hope it will raise awareness of the strength of York's bid and generate further support for our case."

John Oxley, City of York Council's archaeologist, said:

"The archaeology of this city is world-class.  York has a very strong case for designation as a World Heritage Site. I am very pleased that this debate is happening.  The debate will emphasise the strength of York's bid.  The fact that it is taking place demonstrates the popular and political support that there is for the bid made by City of York Council."

As part of the structure of an Adjournment Debate, a representative from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will respond to the issues raised at the end of the session.

York's bid to become a World Heritage Site has already gained support from key representatives across the city. York submitted an application for designation as a World Heritage Site earlier this year, along with 37 other schemes hoping to be accepted on the UK's Tentative List of potential nominations. A panel of experts will assess the city's application before a final Tentative List is announced in spring 2011. The first nomination on the UK list will be submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2012.

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