Dr Anya Chapman helps put Blackpool’s Seaside Piers on the World Heritage Map
Dr Anya Chapman has been working in conjunction with Blackpool Council and the National Piers Society to secure World Monuments Fund Watch status for Blackpool’s three pleasure piers. Anya, who is Honorary Secretary of the National Piers Society, has undertaken a series of visits to Blackpool to develop a strategy in conjunction with Blackpool Council, Historic England, The Theatres Trust, and the Victorian Society to ensure the future sustainability of the resort’s piers. In February a meeting was held at Bournemouth University with Carl Carrington, Director of Heritage and Conservation for Blackpool Council to develop the Proposal for World Monuments Fund Watch List 2018.
Anya was recently invited to Blackpool to meet Joshua David, President of WMF Worldwide, John Darlington, Executive Director of WMF Britain, and Neil Jack, Chief Executive of Blackpool Council to present the case for Blackpool piers’ inclusion on the WMF Watch List. During the meeting all aspects of Blackpool’s seaside heritage were explored, with visits to the resort’s North Pier, iconic Tower and Ballroom, and the Winter Gardens.
The World Monuments Fund’s Watch List 2018 was announced in NYC on 15th October, with Blackpool’s three seaside piers announced as one of 25 of the world’s heritage sites being most ‘at risk’. Inclusion on the Watch List enables a series of high-profile events and activities to take place to secure the piers’ future, including tackling issues on funding, government policy, climate change impacts, and promotion and engagement. Anya is looking forward to working with WMF and Blackpool Council on implementing the Watch List action plan, with the first Pier Watch Day being planned for June 2018.