Across the world a growing number of communities are turning to their Heritage to build prosperity, community and economic development. Traditional dependencies on agriculture and industry have left many communities vulnerable and open to pursing new avenues to help address escalating costs in the face of a dwindling tax base.  The preservation of cultural heritage ( unique customs, traditions, language, food, clothing, art ), enables important aspects of the past to be identified, protected and managed for the benefit of present and future generations while at the same time opening up exciting new initiatives in Heritage Tourism and community economic renewal.  


While we live in times of great change and uncertainty, the traditional boundaries between social, environmental and economic issues are breaking down. Business is working with communities on social and economic outcomes; communities and businesses are working in partnership to create sustainable environments; environmentalists are creating business opportunities while caring for the planet. The future of our planet, our economy and our society lies in the new spaces and ideas we create together. These partnerships are also at the heart of the sustainable development equation.


Becoming interested in history and heritage is not about going backwards, it’s about going forward with a perspective derived from knowledge of where we have been and why we were there. History helps give us a sense of scale.  It allows us to understand how far we have progressed individually, as a community and as nations.  It can provide us with a sense of pride and give us glimpses into what was and what might have been.                          It gives a foundation on which to build our future.


Creative and cultural heritage initiatives are among the fastest growing sectors in the global economy today, and are powerful drivers in building sustainable and resilient community economies. Culture contributes to the quality of life needed to attract and retain an educated workforce, key to economic prosperity, while understanding history provides us with a sense of pride and is the basis of the shared identity that gives communities the capacity to work together to achieve shared goals.  


1. Understanding that all dimensions of heritage – natural, cultural, tangible, intangible and spiritual can be at the heart of the sustainable development equation.

2. We have far more heritage assets than we realize.

3. Preserving cultural heritage assets (unique customs, traditions, language, food, clothing, and art) benefits present and future generations and plays an essential role in defining a communities’ unique identity.

4. Knowing and understanding the past and investing in the protection of historic heritage is an important tool for building a strong sense of community and national identity, and has important economic spin-offs.  

5. Young people have a vital role in the development of a community, not just for their own wellbeing and sense of identity but because they are the emerging leaders, artists and cultural practitioners of tomorrow.

6. Supporting growth in technology to record, preserve and protect community records and heritage material creates fresh opportunities for all families and young people to better access their own unique history.

7. Implementing clear pathways into careers in the arts and cultural sector is an important community building tool.

Heritage   one of the signs of a great society is the diligence with which it passes culture from one generation to the next. The culture is the embodiment of everything the people of that society hold dear: its religious faith, its heroes  When one generation no longer esteems its own heritage and fails to pass the torch to its children, it is saying in essence that the very foundational principles and experiences that make the society what it is are no longer valid. This leaves that generation without any sense of definition or direction, making them the fulfilment of Karl Marx’s dictum, “A people without a heritage are easily persuaded”.


Sir Winston Churchill