Investment in heritage regenerates neglected areas, creates local jobs, and promotes a sense of community. It offers educational and volunteering opportunities and promotes dialogue between different cultures and generations. Understanding our heritage helps us to understand each other. There is evidence to suggest that heritage can promote an understanding of the past that is not only better, but shared.
Revitalise our Heritage,
Sandy Row suffered during the Troubles as one of the most deprived areas in Belfast. Economic renewal passed it by. The Sandy Row Community Forum developed a plan to work with long-term unemployed loyalist bandsmen. They research local history and work as tour guides. Significant benefits have flowed from the project to the wider community and a new appreciation for Sandy Row’s role in Belfast’s development has built local confidence and pride.
Heritage benefits our health and enhances our wellbeing. Researchers at the London School of Economics found the wellbeing value of visiting heritage sites is equivalent to £1,646 per person per year. Another study, on behalf of the Heritage Lottery Fund, discovered that volunteers in the heritage sector had higher levels of life satisfaction than did the general population, or other volunteers.
The Mall, Armagh
Northern Ireland is suffering a housing shortage. By partnering with local lenders and community development organisations, we can ensure the continued use and rehabilitation of historic buildings while encouraging economic growth.
Joy, Hamilton & McMaster Streets, Belfast
Belfast’s Joy, Hamilton and McMaster Streets are good examples of successful urban regeneration. These Georgian and Victorian-era terraces are valued for their historic character, weathered brickwork and proximity to the city centre. Hearth, a building preservation trust with a social mission, brought these terraces back into use by drawing on funds for social housing, helping local people to retain ownership in their area and its heritage.