Closeup of crowds having fun at Brockhole - The Lake District Visitor Centre copyright Dave Willis

Benefits of World Heritage Status

There are no cash prizes for recognition, but being ranked alongside an international A-list of leading sites would have a positive economic and social impact on Cumbria.

Our government has signed a convention to protect all World Heritage Sites, and has pledged to provide adequate resources for their protection. At a time when funding for rural England is under significant pressure, the government (and its agencies) would consequently find it harder to ignore funding appeals from an area with World Heritage status.

Benefits study 

In 2009 the Partnership commissioned Rebanks Consulting Ltd to produce the 'Is there an opportunity for economic gain?' report.

An updated report has also been completed with an action plan in 2013. Read 2013 How the Lake District and Cumbria can benefit from World Heritage Status - report (PDF).

Both reports conclude that economic and social impact is achievable through global recognition of the site and through the nomination process itself. The following benefits may come from World Heritage inscription:

Businesses

  • Just a one per cent increase in cultural visitors - spending more on accommodation, leisure activities, and food and drink - could boost our economy by about £20m.
  • The World Heritage brand will raise the international profile and competitiveness of Lake District businesses. This will help attract and retain talent and draw potential investment into the region.
  • Businesses are already ensuring we maintain vital traditional skills in the region by investing in apprenticeships.
  • World Heritage status will provide an opportunity for businesses to benefit from new customers and markets by developing new products and services.

Farmers and the landscape

  • Industry, farming and businesses are entwined with this spectacular cultural landscape and continually explore innovative ways to conserve, yet evolve this special place. They are integral to the World Heritage story by shaping the culture of the Lake District through innovation and entrepreneurialism.
  • increased recognition of the economic and cultural role and value of the Lakes landscape
  • increased recognition of the traditions and important cultural role of farming families

Community

  • World Heritage Site status will provide an opportunity to promote the Lake District to visitors who will stay for longer and spend more. This increase in tourism will benefit the local economy, leading to investment in infrastructure and public realm improvements.
  • The Lake District will be given the potential to create a globally recognised brand. Communities can benefit by using the brand to promote themselves as a place to live, work and play; taking pride from living in a World Heritage Site.
  • The status would generate a sense of civic pride within Lake District communities – creating more opportunities for local events, projects and engagement, such as local history, education and regional food and drink.
  • Farming communities will benefit from increased recognition of the cultural role of farming and its integral relationship with the landscape and World Heritage bid.

Visitors

  • World Heritage Site status will create global recognition for the Lake District meaning visitors, from both the UK and internationally, will benefit from more accessible information when planning their trip.
  • Visitors will be able to enjoy a higher quality, broader offer from leisure and hospitality providers who are using the World Heritage status in their marketing.

#lakedistrictbid

Join us in our bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Find out how you can celebrate the identity, inspiration and conservation of the Lake District on our Lake District World Heritage Bid website.