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County Antrim village bids for UNESCO World Heritage Status

Words: Roger Milne
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Councillor William McCaughley, mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, has met World Heritage representatives in the County Antrim village of Gracehill, as part of a two-day fact-finding visit to support preparation of a UNESCO WHS application.

The village was established by members of the Moravians, a religious group of German origin. It is a designated conservation area whose layout and unique Georgian-style buildings date from 1765. The Moravian Church remains a central focal point.

The village’s Old School Trust has joined in an international bid for World Heritage Status from UNESCO for their village, with partners in Herrnhut in Saxony, Germany, and Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, US, which were also key Moravian settlements.

The mayor 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.”

Image credit | Christian Mueller-Shutterstock