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Students help heritage campaign

16 October 08 11:29 GMT

IT students at the University of Abertay have lent their expertise to a campaign to have Arbroath Abbey recognised as a world heritage site.

The third-year students have created a new website to raise the profile of the project, launched in 2006.

Arbroath Abbey was where the Declaration of Arbroath was drafted in 1320, which urged the Pope to recognise Scotland's independence.

The new site is being launched at the abbey on Friday.

Campaigners want both the abbey and the document adopted by Unesco, the organisation which decides what projects are given world heritage status.

In order to be recognised, the bid would have to attract the support of the local community, the Scottish Parliament and the UK government.

Malcolm Mactavish, the course tutor who oversaw the development of the new website, said: "The students had a choice of projects but this one really captured their imagination.

"Part of what made it work so well was that it was a real client and that the winning entry was going to be used."

Extra protection

Harry Ritchie, who is helping co-ordinate a future heritage bid, said: "So far we have attracted 1,000 signatures to the campaign as well as support from Scottish clans and groups in America who recognise the importance of the abbey and the deceleration.

"Hopefully the website will appeal to younger people and also raise the profile of the campaign."

If successful the abbey would join the Antonine Wall which was granted world heritage status by Unesco earlier this year.

And as well as prestige, world heritage status can give extra protection to an under-threat site.

There are five world heritage areas in Scotland, including the Antonine Wall - St Kilda, Edinburgh's old and new towns, New Lanark and Neolithic Orkney.

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