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Unesco officials meet St George’s stakeholders

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The visiting Unesco delegation with Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Youth, Social Development and Seniors, and members of the Corporation of St George at Penno’s Wharf (Photograph supplied)

A recent visit by Unesco officials was deemed “a pivotal moment” in efforts to bolster St George’s.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said in a statement: “This mission and our collective efforts are about more than just economic incentives.

“It's about nurturing a sustainable future for our historic former capital.

“Whether through the designation of economic empowerment zones, the introduction of targeted incentives, or major construction projects, our goal remains the same: to ensure St George’s thrives as a beacon of culture and history.”

The Unesco delegation visited the island last week, spending five days meeting government officials and stakeholders including businesses and heritage groups.

Colonel Burch announced in the House of Assembly last month that Unesco was invited to visit the island for the first time since 2000 to provide input on the future of the World Heritage Site as part of an “advisory mission”.

He said in a statement yesterday: “By inviting Unesco to assess and advise on the Town of St George, we are demonstrating our focus on its revitalisation and the broader economic resurgence of Bermuda.”

A group of business stakeholders in a meeting with the Unesco team at Penno’s Wharf (Photograph supplied)

A government statement added: “Unesco’s visit and the Government’s commitment to this cause reflect a unified approach to economic development and heritage conservation.

“As the island moves forward, the insights and recommendations from Unesco will play a crucial role in shaping the strategic direction for St George's and its fortifications, ensuring they remain vibrant parts of Bermuda's cultural landscape and economic framework.”

The Unesco report is expected to be released within the next eight to ten weeks and will then be presented to the Cabinet and stakeholders for discussions.

The report will then be presented to Parliament and the public, along with an outline plan for the way forward.

Unesco declared the Town of St George and Related Fortifications a World Heritage Site in 2000 after a campaign by local heritage stakeholders.

The organisation described the town as “an authentic and one of the earliest examples of an English colonial town in the New World”.

The body highlighted fortifications around the town as some of the first defensive works built by early European colonists, with later forts showcasing the “continuum of British coastal fortifications”.

The Unesco delegation meeting government officials at the Ministry of Public Works headquarters (Photograph supplied)
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works shakes hands with one of the Unesco delegation members (Photograph supplied)

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Published April 03, 2024 at 5:09 pm (Updated April 03, 2024 at 5:46 pm)

Unesco officials meet St George’s stakeholders

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