World Heritage team visit Gracehill

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor William McCaughey, has met with World Heritage representatives in Gracehill, as part of a two-day fact-finding visit to support the ongoing preparation of a UNESCO World Heritage application for the village.

Gracehill Old School Trust has joined in an international bid for World Heritage Status from UNESCO for their village, with partners in Herrnhut, Saxony, Germany and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. Mid & East Antrim Borough Council is supporting their bid.

Mayor Cllr, William McCaughey said: “World Heritage Status for Gracehill would benefit Mid and East Antrim considerably by raising the global profile of the Borough, supporting the local economy, especially the visitor economy, and would positively impact upon education, regeneration, quality of life, and civic pride.

It would place Gracehill on a global stage alongside other World Heritage locations and already David Johnston, Chairman of the Gracehill Old School Trust, has received wide political support from across Northern Ireland.”

Chairman of the Gracehill Old School Trust, David Johnston said: “We are delighted to be taking the next steps on the journey towards potentially achieving World Heritage Status, which would be hugely significant not just for Gracehill and the wider Moravian family but also for the Borough and Northern Ireland as a whole.

“This is good news for everyone in the country and something we can all take pride in.”

The two day visit included Mr Barry Gamble, World Heritage consultant; Ms Friederike Hansell, World Heritage Desk Officer, Saxon State Office for the Conservation of Monuments; Bishop Sarah Groves, Gracehill Moravian Church; as well as representatives from Gracehill Old School Trust, Department for Communities Historic Environment Division, and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.