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Historic Environment Strategy aims to widen public access.
The strategy, which will be debated by AMs this afternoon will set out the role of the historic environment in delivering tangible social, economic and environmental benefits for Welsh communities and will lay the foundations for the Heritage Bill which is due to be introduced in 2014.
The historic environment is a vitally important sector of the Welsh economy, supporting over 30,000 jobs and contributing around £1.8 billion in output and £840 million to Wales’s national gross value added (GVA). There are 30,000 listed buildings, 4,000 scheduled ancient monuments and three World Heritage Sites. The strategy aims to build on this strong base and further develop the economic role of Heritage in Wales, as well as maximising the educational, training and leisure opportunities.
The strategy will be supported by a number of more detailed thematic frameworks and plans within Cadw, some of which are already in place, for example the Heritage and Arts Framework which was published last month; the Lifelong Learning Strategy and the Pan-Wales Heritage Interpretation Plan. The implementation of Cadw’s Heritage Tourism Project and delivering the conservation programme for monuments in State care, alongside the designation of further heritage assets are also important actions.
Speaking ahead of the debate, the Minister said:
"This strategy takes a fresh and contemporary approach to the role and potential of the historic environment and sets out how we can make the most of our heritage, both in terms of providing leisure, learning, job and business opportunities for residents and in terms of attracting more visitors to Wales and encouraging to stay for longer and visit more places during their stays.
"It naturally sets out to conserve Wales’ heritage to the best possible standard, to sustain the distinctive character of Wales’ landscapes and towns and to help people understand and care about their place and history – and the place of Wales in the world. But it is also intended to make a real difference to people’s wellbeing in Wales and as such also targets children and young people with poor life chances and encourages them and their families to get involved and be inspired."