Wide-ranging heritage strategy for Sheffield moves a stage closer - and why it is so unique

A wide-ranging plan to govern how Sheffield looks after its most historic places has moved a ‘major step’ closer.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 4:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 10:18 am

The draft Heritage Strategy for Sheffield, first published by Joined Up Heritage Sheffield for consultation back in January, entered its second and final round of consultation on Tuesday, September 8.

Brian Barrett, Joined Up Heritage trustee, said: “This is a major step.

"Our consultation plans were like so much else affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. While we had some really useful input from organisations and individuals around the city we couldn’t finish our programme of discussions.”

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Moreover the pandemic itself meant Joined Up Heritage had to step back and reevaluate its proposals.

"The strategy of course is for the long term – we are looking at a ten-year plan,” said Brian.

"But we strongly believe that the economic and social value of heritage will become even more important. The world is going to change, none of us at the moment can be certain what the future will look like, but the importance of local character and heritage to all of us is going to be more important, not less.”

JUHS is a charitable organisation supported by a large, diverse group of individuals and organisations united by a desire to champion the city’s rich heritage. The charity share a wish to empower everyone in Sheffield to take an interest in the city’s diverse and fascinating heritage, understand their city’s past, and shape their desire and ability to influence the future development of this important local resource.

The aim is to provide a forum through which groups, and individuals with a love and concern for heritage, can explore issues of common concern.

Over time, the charity plan to work with partners in the city to develop resources and deliver activities that:

Increase awareness of Sheffield’s heritage stories, sites and assets, so as to bring people to the city and make a positive contribution to the visitor economy Create strategic links and initiatives between history, heritage, city economy, communities, health and well-being Grow new audiences which reflect the diversity of the Sheffield area

JUHS now welcomes further input, whether from those who have already commented or those coming to the draft strategy for the first time. Then the definitive version of the Strategy will be published before the end of this year.

Brian added: “This is really important.

"We’re looking for a sense of ownership for this strategy, and you get that by involving people in producing it. Then we have a sound basis for making it work in practice, in partnership with the people who influenced it in the first place.”

The Sheffield Heritage Strategy is unique in the UK. It is for the city as a whole, and is the only one created by the local community, from the bottom up. It emerged from a series of workshops set up by JUHS which produced a mass of ideas, reflected in the draft.

The draft strategy is on the JUHS website, and is open for comment until October 16, 2020. Comments should be sent to [email protected]

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