Key cultural voices respond as Liverpool on brink of losing World Heritage Status

Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium (LARC), an alliance of the city’s major cultural organisations, are urging UNESCO to think again as the final decision to remove Liverpool's docks from the World Heritage list is expected later this month.

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Liverpool was granted the highly sought-after World Heritage status from UNESCO in 2004 in recognition of the city's history as a major trading centre during the British Empire and its architectural landmarks.

In 2012, proposals for high-rise buildings prompted the World Heritage Committee to put the city on the List of World Heritage in Danger.



Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium (LARC) was established to play a leading role in helping regenerate Merseyside.

As such, we are committed to celebrating the city’s remarkable heritage while looking forward to an exciting future, imbued with culture and creativity.

We understand the importance of protecting the city’s considerable historic assets and believe the stories of our past have an integral role in Liverpool’s ongoing development and growth. Indeed, individually and collectively we use our cultural capital to actively celebrate and reflect Liverpool’s diverse history through our varied collections, performances, exhibitions and festivals.

Several of our venues, housed in historic buildings within the World Heritage Site, deliver arts and participation programmes that engage with, interpret and interrogate the port’s maritime mercantile narratives, bringing them into dialogue with the present.

For us, recognition of Liverpool’s global heritage significance is especially critical at this time, as we endeavour to connect contemporary debates around colonial legacies to an understanding of our past.

Liverpool has always been a world-class heritage city – with its fine architecture, distinctive waterfront and cultural assets, with people at its heart. However, the protection and appreciation of our historic assets and the city’s need and appetite for ongoing development needn’t be exclusive.

Our desire to see our outstanding cultural heritage retained as a part of the city’s future has to be reconciled with the urgent need for inward investment. Please don’t penalise this great city for ­having the courage to move forward.

Liverpool is at a crucial moment for its economic renaissance. Deletion of world heritage status, at a time when we are planning our comeback following the global pandemic, would be an unfair setback.

We believe there is an outstanding opportunity for UNESCO, UK Government and Liverpool to work in partnership to secure the thriving future an ambitious global city like ours can achieve, while preserving the unique and prestigious heritage at its heart.

We urge you to engage with us to celebrate our historic venues, marking their history and importance with our ever-changing city.

Yours sincerely

Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium:

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)

Liverpool Biennial,

Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres

Liverpool’s Royal Court

National Museums Liverpool

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Tate Liverpool


Unity Theatre


Merseyside Dance Initiative