Funding of the arts and heritage

Written evidence submitted by Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site (arts 109)

1.Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site

1.01The UK Government’s responsibilities in respect of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention which the Country joined in 1984 including nominating Sites for WH status are exercised by the Secretary of State for Culture ,Media and Sport.

1.02 Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site was inscribed by UNESCO in 1997. All WHS are required by the Convention to have Management Plans , primarily to protect the Outstanding Universal Values of the Site. Since 1999 a Steering Group, supported by an Executive of local partner organisations, has implemented a Management Plan for the Site .No direct funding has been received from DCMS for the World Heritage Site, although 3 major partners, Royal Parks, the National Maritime Museum and Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College receive grant-in-aid from the Department.

1.03 All historic fabric requires repair and maintenance and this demands investment which has been sought successfully on a capital and revenue basis. In order to secure such investment Maritime Greenwich has been established as a visitor destination. This has seen a 5-fold increase in visitor numbers since Inscription with an annual count now of some 10 million.

1.04 The partnership that has evolved over a period of 13 years offers a model for private/public arrangements in other areas.

2. Inward investment

2.01 Maritime Greenwich has gone through a substantial period of change since the WHS Inscription of 1997.The most significant change was the departure of the Ministry of Defence from the Old Royal Naval College and the setting up of Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College. Subsequently this led to the establishment of the Maritime Greenwich University Campus with Greenwich University and Trinity College of Music leasing the Royal Courts.

2.02 Greenwich Park is administered by Royal Parks. The National Maritime Museum has been located in Greenwich since 1937.

2.03 Greenwich Town Centre ,which makes up the remainder of the World Heritage Site, is a lively shopping centre containing Greenwich Market. Much of the freehold, as with the Old Royal Naval College, is owned by Greenwich Hospital.

2.04 In 1999 the arrival of the Docklands Light Railway substantially increased the accessibility of the Site from central London.

2.05 The changes that have taken place over some 13 years have included a substantial investment in the fabric. This is assessed at £250 million. The Heritage Lottery Fund have given grants totalling £75 million.

2.06 In 2010 it was announced that London Borough of Greenwich will become a Royal Borough in 2012.This is largely due to the royal connections that the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site has had over some 5 centuries.

3. The partnership

3.01 The Maritime Greenwich WHS Steering Group consists of the national heritage organisations and local partners including:


English Heritage


The Heritage Lottery Fund

The O2

*London Borough of Greenwich

*The National Maritime Museum

*Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College

*Greenwich Hospital

*Greenwich University

*Trinity College of Music

*Cutty Sark trust

*Royal Parks

3.02 The Maritime Greenwich WHS Executive, which supports the Steering Group, consists of local partner organisations indicated *.

3.03 A number of groups dealing with particular aspects work to the WHS Executive. These cover marketing, visitor management, learning, transport and design.

4. The visitor economy in Greenwich since 2002

4.01 Since 2002, the WHS Marketing Group has invested a total sum of £760,000 cash and more than £500,000 worth of in-kind assistance from partners into marketing the destination Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site.

4.02 Prior to the WHS Marketing efforts, when detailed visitor numbers were also less readily available, visitor numbers had grown steadily. However the increased profile of Maritime Greenwich has given an annual increase of nearly one million visitors (12%) to the borough of Greenwich since 2002. Maritime Greenwich now receives around 9.6 million visitors.

4.03 The spend per head has risen from £48 to £55 , nearly a 15% increase .

There has been a 9% increase in the number of visitors choosing to stay overnight – over 600,000. The day visitor market however still remains dominant at 94% of the total market.

4.04 The results of the marketing programme have therefore been very positive and indicate the strength of a coordinated approach by the WHS partnership.

4.05 The decision by the International Olympic Committee to award the 2012 Games to London may well have been assisted by the special qualities of Maritime Greenwich, which featured strongly in the submission by the UK. Greenwich Park will be the venue for the equestrian and modern pentathlon events for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There is no doubt that the outstanding setting provided by the Old Royal Naval College and the Royal Park will feature very prominently in the world-wide coverage of the Games.

5. Response to the points raised by the Committee

5.01 Impact of spending cuts

5.011The Partnership at Maritime Greenwich has implemented a Management Plan for the last 11 years to assist the responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport. This has been achieved without direct funding. However possible future spending cuts may well affect the individual partners in the WHS and lead to a deterioration in the presentation and maintenance of the Site overall.

5.02 Working partnerships

5.021 The partnership at Maritime Greenwich represents a successful model and delivery mechanism.

5.03 Level of public subsidy

5.031 There is at present no direct public subsidy for Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site

5.04 Funding distribution

National Lottery funding policy guidelines

5.041 The Heritage Lottery Fund have been very helpful in assisting schemes throughout the World Heritage Site. A number of these individual grants have involved the recognition of the World Heritage Site context and in some cases have included a condition by the HLF for signage etc. to link up with other parts of the Site.

5.042 However it would be very helpful if HLF grants could be made on a more holistic basis, not just site by site. In this way a number of aspects of visitor management and interpretation could be greatly improved .Better signage is a clear example but this could extend to interpretation of the WHS too.

5.043 The HLF grants are limited to restoration of building fabric and it has proved impossible to obtain help with schemes to improve the wider environment. For example the landscape of the Old Royal Naval College has been carried out without external funding although the setting of these buildings, often described as the finest that the UK possesses, is of paramount importance. Greenwich Town Centre remains in need of similar environmental improvement and a system of grant aid that recognised the importance of the wider environment would be most welcome.

5.05 Impact of recent DCMS changes

5.051 Maritime Greenwich is a venue for two of the 2012 Olympic Games events as well as for the Paralympics. A great deal of work has been undertaken by the heritage agencies to ensure that the historic fabric is not threatened by the works required. The focus of world attention on Maritime Greenwich during 2012 gives an opportunity to champion the wider concept of world heritage.

5.052 The expectations of the country are recognised and the WHS partners in Maritime Greenwich are working to have the Site in its best state for the Games. Work is proceeding on a number of capital projects to ensure completion in time for 2012.These include the restoration of Cutty Sark, the development of Greenwich Pier, improvements to Cutty Sark Gardens, the part-pedestrianisation of Greenwich Town Centre and the construction of the Sammy Ofer Wing of the National Maritime Museum.

5.053 As well as these capital projects there will be work needed to bring a number of services etc. up to a satisfactory standard including coach facilities, toilets, gates, road crossings and the street environment. There is no central funding available from DCMS for any work in respect of the 2012 venues.

5.054 Three of the main WHS partners ,the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Foundation and the Royal Parks receive funding from DCMS. Maritime Greenwich will be representing and showcasing the best of the nation’s heritage in 2012 .

Any reduction in this funding will put the repair and appearance of the Site at risk, thus jeopardising the appearance of the World Heritage Site.

5.055 (unused)

5.056 To date negotiations with LOCOG have not resulted in any substantial legacies from the Games. It is disappointing that some of the temporary works needed for the events, will not become permanent improvements. This includes the provision of new road crossings and a tangible waterfront legacy.

5.06 Role of businesses and philanthropists

More Govt. incentives re private donations?

5.061 The Maritime Greenwich WHS partnership involves partners from all sectors of the economy. This has been particularly successful in marketing the Site. A number of schemes being pursued by WHS partners have benefitted from private donations including the National Maritime Museum, the Cutty Sark Trust and Greenwich Foundation. It is estimated that over £43 million has been received from philanthropic sources for the various schemes undertaken in the WHS since Inscription. Without this support it is most likely that some of the schemes would not have reached fruition. Any encouragement that central government can give for future donations will materially assist in maintaining and improving the World Heritage Site.

September 2010