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Consultations

The Forth Bridges Forum asked the public for their views prior to the nomination of The Forth Bridge for inscription as a World Heritage Site. In particular the Forum were interested to hear what the public thought could best maximise the benefits that may follow, should the nomination be successful and World Heritage Status be achieved for the Bridge.

This public consultation was conducted in support of the nomination of The Forth Bridge for inscription as a World Heritage Site. It sought input from as wide an audience as possible, both on the potential value of World Heritage designation, and on how its impact can be managed positively so as to benefit not only the future of the Bridge itself but also local communities and other groups who might be affected by its inscription.

The consultation took the form of a short questionnaire, which provided supporting information and questions designed to draw together views on the Nomination and its potential benefits. The information provided informed the content of the Nomination Document and Management Plan submitted to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in early 2014, and in particular had the potential to influence decisions affecting local communities in the future.

It also followed a commissioned report from Rebanks Consulting, headed up by James Rebanks, an experienced consultant specialising in World Heritage whose research is recognised by UNESCO. Whilst working in the communities at each end of the Bridge during a six-week period in late 2012, James set about identifying what the potential benefits might be, together with the associated challenges and constraints that might arise. The report is available here.

Rebanks found that support for the World Heritage nomination was very strong, especially amongst the business community, but that there were also a number of concerns, mainly relating to local infrastructure. The Forth Bridges Forum therefore undertook a public consultation to better understand the issues and aspirations of everyone who might be affected, especially at a local level.

In addition to providing basic information about the World Heritage nomination, the consultation sought to identify the main issues that emerged from Rebanks’ work, and posed specific questions for the public to consider.

The gathered views will make a significant contribution to the success of the nomination.

 

Why did we consult?
This public consultation was carried out in support of the nomination of The Forth Bridge for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The information provided by the respondents to the consultation influenced the content of the Nomination Document and Management Plan forming the dossier to be submitted to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) on 1st February 2014.

What we consulted on?
The consultation sought the public’s views both on the potential value of World Heritage designation for the Forth Bridge, and on how its impact could be managed positively so as to benefit not only the future of the Bridge itself, but also local communities and other groups who might be affected by its inscription.

Key questions and issues
The consultation took the form of a short questionnaire about the nomination of the Forth Bridge for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It provided supporting information and questions designed to draw together views on the Nomination and its potential benefits. Most importantly, it explained what a World Heritage is, provided a brief description of what exactly is being nominated and why, and then asks for public opinions on a range of issues and challenges as well as some proposed objectives.

What happens next?
The consultation closed on 11th August 2013, the feedback received was collated and used to inform the content of the World Heritage nomination dossier for the Forth Bridge.