Not punching its weight.. Heritage management for heritage or economy?

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  2. Professor Peter Stone OBE
Author(s)Stone PG
Publication type Article
JournalAntiquity or conservation and management of archaeological sites or Public Archaeology
Year2007
Volume
Issue
Pages
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The observation that Hadrian's Wall, a World Heritage Site in the north of England, was "not punching it's weight" in economic terms was made with sincerity and concern by a member of staff of England's North East Region Economic Development Agency. The comment was met with anger and incomprehension by the archaeological audience to which it was constructively addressed. Consultants appointed to investigate how the Site might contribute better to the Regional economy referred to the Site as a 'product' and were met with derrision and thinly veiled contempt. Over the last three years the author has worked with the North East & North West Regional Development Agencies to investigate the potential of Hadrian's Wall as a vehicle for economic regeneration. This work has led to the creation of a new company, Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd, to deliver a 'step change' in economic investment associated with the Wall that will, according to consultants, enable the RDAs to meet and outstrip Government targets with respect to economic regeneration. Such investment will inevitably come with a cost: with respect to both economic and heritage issues. What are the implications for heritage managers of this and similar initiatives?
NotesHadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd has only recently received DTI approval. The author has discussed this article with the editor of Antiquity who is very keen to publish it. We anticipate publication in April 2007.