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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 17:26 GMT
Heritage map for changing city
Liverpool waterfront
Liverpool is enjoying a huge regeneration
Heritage officials have announced plans to map the historical buildings of an entire city to help preserve it from excessive redevelopment.

English Heritage describes Liverpool as "England's finest Victorian city" but says it is in danger of losing its rich architecture as it undergoes a massive change.

Public opinion on Liverpool's history will be sampled in the three-year Historic Environment of Liverpool Project (HELP).

The information will then be used to assess whether certain areas could either be bulldozed to make way for investment or saved and incorporated into new developments.

The heart of 19th Century Liverpool is still here. It is one of the most accessible of historical texts

Sir Neil Cossons, English Heritage
The object, says English Heritage, is to prevent the repetition of mistakes made in cities such as Birmingham, which lost much of its historic Jewellery Quarter to new developments.

But Chairman Sir Neil Cossons stressed that the city's history should be seen as a key - not an obstacle - to successful regeneration.

He said: "Our bottom line is that you have got England's finest Victorian city intact.

Maritime past

"The proper regeneration and the proper caring of that is one of the greatest opportunities that Liverpool has got.

"The heart of 19th Century Liverpool is still here. It is one of the most accessible of historical texts.

"You can walk around Liverpool and understand why it was the great seaport it was, and the tremendous commercial dynamic is reflected in the shipping offices, the banking quarter and of course the three wonderful buildings on the waterfront.

"Many of those buildings are not an obstacle to regeneration but the key.

"The Albert Dock, which stood empty and despised for many years, is now a shining example of regeneration.

Urban 'blueprint'

"Liverpool's historic environment is a unique asset that can help provide a sustainable future for the city as it continues to change and develop."

Sir Neil added that the HELP project could become a "blueprint" for saving the heritage of other cities on the brink of a renaissance.

The project, which is being carried out in partnership with agencies including Liverpool City Council, will inspect the city's 2,500 listed buildings to see which are in urgent need of repair.

Buildings of historic significance will not be limited to the Victorian age, and one of the 174 buildings already on the at risk list includes a cinema built in the 1930s.

Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

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