Region’s heritage supports current economy, reveals report

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Duke Studios in Leeds – one of the revitalised heritage premises adding to the current economy. Picture: Laura Wellington

Research published today by Historic England has revealed the vital contribution of heritage to Yorkshire and the Humber’s economy.

Heritage is an important employer and attracts millions of visitors each year. The region’s collection of unique historic buildings provides homes for residents and premises for businesses.

The latest figures have been collected and analysed for Historic England, and are published in the Heritage Counts 2018 report. It shows that in Yorkshire and the Humber:

  • There are 16,640 people directly employed in heritage. There has been a small rise since 2011 (16,449).
  • Heritage tourism generated £880m in spend by domestic and international tourists who made 21.6m visits. The number of day visits to the region rose from 11m in 2012 to 20m in 2016.
  • Converted historic properties (pre-1919) provided 2,210 new homes between 2012 and 2018, up from 521,810 to 524,020.
  • Heritage contributed £1.9bn in Gross Value Added up from £1.7bn in 2011 (GVA is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of the economy). This is equivalent to 1.7% of total Gross Value Added in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The report also says that heritage-led regeneration can turn derelict historic areas into vibrant places in which people want to live and work.

Trevor Mitchell, Historic England Planning Director in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Yorkshire and the Humber’s historic environment provides jobs and housing, attracts tourists and contributes to the local economy.

“These figures show the value that heritage brings to the region. But it’s not just about money, heritage has a number of social benefits – it can help to create a sense of identity and belonging for communities. The significant rise in the number of people making heritage-related day visits in the region is good news. We have rich heritage for people to enjoy.”