MMIAH - partners

Recovery and valorization of maritime, military and industrial heritage of the Atlantic Area coast.
Ayuntamiento de Ferrol. Galicia (ES)

Ferrol is a city on the Atlantic coast in north-western Spain. It has an urban population of 68,308 (2,016) and a metropolitan area population of over 192.167 in a region named “Comarca de Ferrol” about 613,4 km2 . The city of Ferrol has been a major naval shipbuilding center for most of its history. Ferrol is one of the galician cities with the most important town´n heritage. In fact, Ferrol has been submited in 2018 the candidacy for Unesco World Heritage as “City of Ferrol: Port of Illustration” (“Cidade de Ferrol: Porto da Ilustración”).

The port of Ferrol, due to the special configuration of the estuary and its orography, is one of the safest in the world. At the end of the 16th century, Felipe II decided that the Estuary of Ferrol was used as a base for the Royal Navy. In the 18th century, Ferrol was designated capital of the Northern Maritime Department, and Felipe V ordered the creation of the Royal Arsenal and a Shipyard in the village of A Graña. Later, Fernando VI ordered the construction of a large shipyard in the town of Ferrol, dedicated almost exclusively to the construction of ships for the Navy. This is how the Ideal Port of the Enlightenment was born, the name under which Ferrol aspires to be recognised as a World Heritage Site.

Ferrol has its medieval origin by the sea in the old dock of “Curuxeiras” where it is the oldest quarter of the town, “Ferrol Vello”. Some years later, in the XVIII century, it was built the bigest dockyard of Spain for seventy ships; with all the necessary elements for their construction and defense of the town. It is a military and shipbuilding defensive arsenal.

At the same time, during this century, it was necessary to build a new city for all the people who worked in the Arsenal. Then, it was planned and built the Magdalena quarter. This quarter is named “the chocolat bar” for its plan, and it is very well preserved nowadays.

There is a route named “Ferrol Modernist” that goes over the most important buildings of this style. Rodolfo Ucha was a great architect os this time and there are many examples of his buildings, both private and public.

In Ferrol there are great historical sites that should be preserved because they explain the history and the memory of the city; and many of them have great heritage value, even they are Assets of Cultural Interest (BICs).

Other examples of heritage are related to the military, maritim and atlantic architecture, enginiering and landscape, like San Felipe Castle, some Bastions and Guard houses and alll the coastal defensive system of the Ferrol´s Ría. Also there are many heritage elements os archeological value all around the city.

All these elements constitute a singular heritage and the most important identity signal of this place, together with the natural heritage that includes many places of landscape interest. This is the most important reason wahy this heritage must be preserved. It is relevant to understand the history, to keep the memory and the identity of the place.

Ferrol´s Heritage is still greatly unkoen and must be given the recognition it deserves and shows as what it is really like.

Câmara Municipal de Ílhavo. Centro (PT)

Located at the Center of Portugal and double-crossed by channels from Ria de Aveiro lagoon, the Municipality of Ílhavo, with an extension of 75 square quilometers and about 40.000 inhabitants, it is bounded, at north, by the harbour entrance channel – connecting this lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean and extending itself through a wide flat area, between a wide green area of National Forest and an extensive coastline of golden sand beaches – the iconic beaches of Barra and Costa Nova.


The history of the Municipality of Ílhavo, as well as the one from the whole surrounding region, is deeply marked by the dramatic changes that the hydrographic network and the coastline have been suffering overtime. About ten centuries ago, Ria de Aveiro lagoon didn’t existed yet. The Vouga River basin would have been, at that time, an open bay to the sea. Therefore, with around nine-and-a-half centuries of documented life, it is not strange that Ílhavo had been pointed out by many authors as being descendent from legendary sailors, who might have entered through the river mouth, and settled-in there. Ilhavo’s entrepreneurs were, themselves, later, founders of several maritime communities along the Portuguese coastline, through its maritime and fishing vocation, which will have its maximum spot on the first half of the 20th century, period during which they will become famous by the tenaciousness and courage of their captains, sailors and fishermen during the Cod fishing campaigns – theFainaMaior, at the tempested Artic and Atlantic Oceans, bathing Newfoundland (Canada) and Greenland coasts.


Economically relevant to the municipality were the processing fish industry, salt production, traditional fishing, shipbuilding and port activities. However, and by having always been a well-known creative community, it also developed ceramic industry, especially porcelain, through the establishment of Vista Alegre, back in 1824. Nowadays, and already looking at the future, Blue Economy – related to the usage and transformation of maritime resources, especially by the Codfish Industry – and companies which are worldwide references on the fields of Mechanics, Electronics, Ceramics and Tourism, are the pillars for local economic activities, anchored in Innovation and Creativity.





Seasoned by the salt and the sun, by maritime breeze and by the wild pine scent, the mood of Ilhavo’s native people is happy, energetic, daring and creative. The daily working adventure, sometimes tragic, didn’t erase the sweetness of these women and men, who, by knowing themselves privileged for inhabiting such an unique territory, full of scenic beauty and disputed by the land, the sea and the salted lagoon, on games of lights and tides, throw themselves to work and leisure, with the same energy, enthusiasm and pride for their culture and identity. Witnesses of that character are the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo, with its Codfish Aquarium, Santo André’s Ship Museum, honouring all those who, in the past and the present, dedicate their lives to fishing, either at deep-sea – such as cod fishing – at the coast or at the lagoon, and even to riverside activities.



Considered as undeniable historical references, Barra’s Lighthouse, the tallest in Portugal, watchful vigilant for maritime safety, and Costa Nova’s traditional “Palheiros”, houses decorated with coloured stripes over a white background, ancient fish and salt storage and nowadays turned into luxuriant beach residences.But the Municipality of Ílhavo also holds many major public equipment, nationally and internationally awarded for their contemporary architectural quality: Ílhavo Maritime Museum’s was, for example, considered as one of the most amazing museums of the 20th century, and also well-appreciated are CaisCriativo da Costa Nova, the recovery of Ílhavo’s Municipal Library and Vista Alegre’s Hotel.


The Sea as a Tradition is, just like no other, the motto for the Municipality of Ílhavo.

Ville de La Rochelle. Poitou-Charentes (FR)

The City of La Rochelle has a long and rich maritime history, heavily influenced by trade, fishing and its former position as a Protestant stronghold. In the past and in the present, the successive ports in La Rochelle largely contributed to the development of the city and paced the life of the people living here, between land and sea.

Located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of the Sluice of Antioch and protected by the islands of Ré and Oléron, La Rochelle expanded from the 10th century around its port, which grew rapidly thanks to the maritime trade, with England and Northern Europe first, then across the Atlantic with the West Indies and New France. Traders from all over Europe came in the city, which was considered as the capital of Protestantism in the 16th century. Struggling with England and other European countries, but also with the various sieges orchestrated by the royal power, La Rochelle built strong fortifications, including the famous three towers, a highly symbolic landmark in the city.



With the abolition of slavery and the loss of New France, the French Revolution of 1789 and the Empire dealt a severe blow to the economy. In the middle of the 19th century, with the Industrial Revolution, La Rochelle initiated an economic and urban transformation, resulting in the introduction of railway, the digging of outer basin (then called the trawlers’ basin), and the setting of La Pallice port in 1890. During the Second World War,

La Pallice was bombed several times because of the establishment of the submarine base built by Germans as part of the Atlantic Wall. After the war, the economy was dominated by fishing, shipbuilding and maritime trade until the end of the 1960s. In order to cope with the traditional maritime activities crisis, the city undertook, with Mayor Michel Crépeau, a reconversion into tourism, culture and pleasure boating sectors. In 1972, the Minimes Port was created, and is considered today as the biggest port on the European Atlantic coast, hosting each year the Grand Pavois event, the biggest European boat show afloat.

In 1988, at the initiative of Patrick Schnepp, who was aware of the necessity to preserve La Rochelle’s maritime heritage, the City acquired the France I weather ship and asked an association to turn it into a Maritime Museum. A long work is being carried out to keep boats in activity, keeping them able to sail and enhancing the memory and former sailors’ know-how. Thirty years later, La Rochelle became the leading city in France for the number of classified heritage boats and is one of the most touristic cities on the Atlantic coast.



Since 2015, the Maritime Museum has been redeployed around the trawler basin, reusing part of the old fish market, which now hosts events and temporary exhibitions. The challenge consists in enhancing the history and maritime life of La Rochelle, but also addressing the major issues of the 21st century. A major exhibition on climate and ocean will take place in 2019 in order to put La Rochelle at the center of the debate on climate issues.

Ayuntamiento de Cádiz. Andalucia (Huelva, Cádiz and Sevilla) (ES)


The city of Cadiz is a Spanish municipality situated in the South of the Iberian Peninsula, in the extreme South West of Europe in the autonomous region of Andalusia. It is the capital of the Province that takes its name and forms part of the urban area of the Bay of Cadiz, the third biggest population centre in Andalusia.



It is on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, close to the Straits of Gibraltar and not far from Africa.  Thanks to its location, Cadiz enjoys a wonderful climate all year round, with over 300 days of sun each year. A noteworthy aspect of its weather is the intense light, alive, colourful and happy that invades the city. Its natural beauty gives Cadiz a special charm, praised by poets and artists.

It is a city of easy access and is very well communicated by road, plane, train and boat. It boasts an extensive network of highways, high-speed train service (AVE Seville-Madrid), the airports of Jerez, Seville and Malaga, and its port, which is an important commercial and cruise terminal.


The geographical location of Cadiz has directly influenced its history. Its strategic location ensured its commercial, military and maritime significance, with the commercial port being overtaken by a more military and defensive role as historical events demanded.

The history of Cadiz can be traced back over 3,000 years to when it was first settled by the Phoenicians in around c.1100 b.C. After the foundation of the Phoenician, it soon became a very important trading post in the sea routes of antiquity.

The city attained great prosperity throughout the Roman era, and as the Roman Empire fell, so it did the fortunes of the city of Cadiz.

During the Middle Ages the great open city of antiquity slowly gave way to a smaller walled city.

With the arrival of Alfonso X in Cadiz, the fortunes of the city resurfaced, as the monopoly of trade was established with Africa, it would remain in the city until the beginning of the 16th century. Cadiz became something of a geographic fulcrum in European trade.

In the era of the discoveries, the city’s resurgence continued through a new commercial monopoly with America and being headquarters of the House of Contracting and of the Fleet of Indies.

In 1596, following the looting of the Anglo-Dutch fleet at Cadiz, it was proposed to fortify the city, providing it with a defensive device capable of resisting successive attacks. The ambitious plan proposed a perimeter of walls, which covered the city limits, punctuated with forts and bastions, the form of which were developed throughout the centuries of the Modern Age. By the middle of the 18th century, the land of Cadiz was already completely walled, and was duly recognized as being a splendid example of military architecture.

A remarkable feature of the maritime heritage of Cadiz is its “Lookout Towers” (Torres Mirador), very characteristic elements of the Cadiz architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries, and from which merchants could see the arrival of ships at the port.

The urban development of the historic centre of Cadiz slowed in the 19th century, however, when important religious, civil and military buildings were constructed during this period.

In addition to the military heritage, the tobacco industry and its shipyards stand out for their role in the history of Cadiz, these sectors and associated industries that became the backbone of the economy of Cadiz. In recent years, Cadiz City Council, has been involved in the recovery of recovering a large part of the city’s defensive and industrial constructions, architecture and infrastructure. Recovered assets are now utilized for uses of high public and social value, such as educational, cultural and leisure uses.



The rich history of Cadiz has left many traces that can be seen reflected in its important Historical, Artistic and Cultural Heritage, both in its urban fabric with beautiful open spaces and impressive buildings, and in its customs and ethnological legacy.

Pôle métropolitain Caen Normandie métropole. Basse Normandie (FR)

The Caen Normandy Metropolitan District(DNMD) is a public institution set up by agreement between public intermunicipal cooperation institutions with its own tax system, with a view to actions of metropolitan interest, in order to promote a model of development, sustainable development and territorial solidarity.



The CNMD is characterized by a very strong complementarity between urban and rural territories. This specificity and the quality of life linked to it must be valued and constitute a source of attractiveness, for companies and their employees, as well as for French and international visitorsand tourists.


On 1 January 2016, Lower and Upper Normandy merged becoming one region called Normandy. The territory of the district includes the former Lower Normandy, which is composed of three departments, Manche, Calvados and Orne and almost all the agglomerations.


The former Lower Normandy is bordered to the north and west by the Channel Sea for about 470 km, to the north-east by the Upper Normandy territory, to the south-east by the Centre Val de Loire region, to the south by the Pays de la Loire region and to the south-west by Brittany. With an area of 17,589 km2, the former Lower Normandy is home to 1,473,494 inhabitants (2010 census). The main economic sectors that structure the economy of the territory are agriculture, fishing, industry, construction and tourism.


Normandy has benefited from a pivileged geographical situation (axis of the Seine, proximity to Paris and Great Britain…), a dense hydraulic network, easily exploitable raw materials and important energy resources (nuclear and ENR), and has seen the development of many activities since the Middle Ages. The glass, metallurgy, textile, milling, paper and leather sectors are particularly flourishing. The work is carried out at home by an essentially rural workforce, in workshops scattered in the countryside or in town, in the numerous mills that spread out over the territory, or even in industrial-type establishments (glass factories, blast furnaces and refineries, factories, etc.).



Normandy and the sea is a history more than millennium, it is also one of the multiple assets of Normandy, in terms of trade and fishing thanks to its rich and abundant natural resources, but also by the quality of the living environment offered by its environment, by the beauty and diversity of its landscapes and its marine spaces.


As much linked to the sea as to industry, the military domain is very present in Normandy. In 1944, on June 6 and during the long summer that followed, men from all over the world came to Normandy to fight to repel Nazi Germany and restore Freedom. Normandy keeps forever the traces of this history and each year we remember and pay homage to the American, British, Canadian, Belgian, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Australian, French veterans and their brothers in arms, to those heroes who lost their lives here throughout the summer of 1944, and rest in cemeteries scattered throughout the region. The Normans, as is often ignored, also paid a very heavy price in these terrible battles.

Plymouth City Council. Devon (UK)

The port of Plymouth has a rich maritime history based on fishing, trade and a long and continuing association with the Royal Navy. The sea has touched the lives of everyone who has lived in or visited the port. The sea continues to shape the modern City.



Plymouth is in the southwest of Britain on the Western Approaches to the English Channel. Plymouth Sound is a natural harbour at the meeting point of the Rivers Plym and Tamar, providing navigable routes inland to West Devon and East Cornwall. Originally a small town, Plymouth first prospered as a centre of fishing and trade. Local, coastal and continental trade grew steadily, especially cross-Channel to France and Spain. Plymouth was also frequently the port of departure or return for English military expeditions against European rivals.


By the 16th century, local sailors had become familiar with crossing the Atlantic on fishing expeditions and interest in the Atlantic trade grew steadily. Plymouth became a focus for development and supply of early English colonies in North America. A new quay was built to accommodate the increased trade and, in the 1590s, Drake’s Leat was constructed to deliver an adequate fresh water supply to the port. A new fortification, the Hoe Fort, guarded against the Spanish threat.


During the 18th century, the town of Dock-Devonport became more important than its medieval neighbour. Sandwiched between was the smaller town of Stonehouse. Although the ‘Three Towns’ remained separate until 1914, they prospered together as the port’s geographic location grew strategically more important. By the 1780s, Plymouth and her neighbours had become a key military and naval base, vital to the nation’s defence.  The ‘Dock Lines’, safeguarding the Dockyard from attack, were soon reinforced by a series of small forts. The presence of the military was further supported with large purpose built hospitals and barrack blocks.


With the defeat of Napoleon, work was already underway on Plymouth’s pioneering unattached Breakwater, built to provide a safe anchorage for the Royal Navy close to the Naval Dockyard. The self-contained Royal William Victualling Yard soon followed.  In the 19th century Plymouth became Britain’s southwestern gateway to the world’s oceans.


Twentieth century Plymouth played an important role during both World Wars and during the Second World War, Plymouth became one of the most heavily bombed cities in the United Kingdom.   The City was extensively re-planned and rebuilt in the post-War period, with a newly designed City centre and extensive new suburban estates providing houses with new industries offering work nearby.


Plymouth had become more tourism orientated in the 1920s and 30s, although the rebuilding and opening to the public of John Smeaton’s pioneering Eddystone Lighthouse on Plymouth Hoe in the 1880s ‘shone a light’ on the potentials. The Barbican Association helped safeguard parts of the ‘old town’ but, arguably, it has been since 1970, the 350th anniversary of the sailing of the ‘Mayflower Pilgrims’, that there has been an increasing emphasis on safeguarding the historic built environment and heritage tourism.


Into the 1980s, the military were re-consolidating and, locally, several of their working heritage assets began to be made available for re-development, including the Royal Naval Hospital, Mount Wise, Mount Batten and the Royal William Yard. In the mercantile sector, the same was true of Plymouth’s historic harbour at Sutton Pool and, more recently and currently, at Millbay Docks.


Greater attention to the preservation and re-utilisation of historic fabric and the opportunities to increase public access has grown in response. Into the present era, although the Naval Dockyard remains one of the largest in Western Europe, parts are now being redeveloped and becoming more accessible to the public. Elsewhere, other sites, like the historic Drake’s Island, the late 18th century Royal Marine Barracks at Stonehouse and even, possibly, the 17th century Royal Citadel itself, are likely to follow…



Past and present, Plymouth is about the sea – voyages of adventure and exploration, cargoes, docks and warehouses, passenger arrivals and departures, local industries and trades, including shipbuilding and ship repair, merchants and maritime trades. The common thread has been the Naval Dockyard, the military, the fortifications and other associated buildings. The time is therefore right for this…..

Comhairle Cathrach Chorcai. Southern and Eastern (IE)


Cork is Ireland’s second city, located in the south west of the country at the western edge of the second deepest natural harbour in the world. While a settlement and an ecclesiastic foundation are known at Cork since early Christian times, the Vikings fully recognized and capitalized on Cork’s favourable location as a ‘safe harbour for ships’ over a thousand years ago. They built a town on an island in the estuarine marsh at the lowest bridging point on the broad river Lee. The town connected land routes from the north to the wider world via the river Lee and Cork harbour to the south, and as such, occupied a strategic location in the surrounding topography.  As the town prospered through time, new land for its expansion was eked out through reclamation of the surrounding marsh, and its urban form changed from an island settlement to a significant medieval walled town following the Norman Conquest. From the early modern era, Cork was often the last port called to before ships left Europe, and since the 17th century Cork city and harbour served as a provisioning port for ships heading west into the open Atlantic and to the new world. 

The construction of many military fortifications around Cork Harbour since the 16th century reflect British interest in Cork’s geographic and strategic advantages as a naval port, its proximity to a natural deep harbour, and its rich agricultural hinterlands. At the western side of the harbour, Elizabeth Fort and Blackrock castle guarded the expanded walled city, while the entrance to the harbour was defended by Camden, Carlisle and Westmoreland forts (now known as Davis, Meaghar and Mitchell). Five Martello towers and the British Royal Navy base were dotted around the harbour; gunpowder mills, a magazine fort and ordnance grounds were constructed around the city also.

Documentary sources and records attest to Cork’s post-medieval history as a significant port of provisions for the many ships embarking on international voyages. Port of Cork workshops, building and bonded warehouse; the harbourmasters house; graving dock and ship grid;  the city quay walls; the butter market and lines of the ‘butter roads’; the  Firkin Crane; the old Custom House and many extant structures surviving in the modern city bear testament to the significant economic and social history of the city. Mercantile activity and the prosperity of Cork is reflected in the number of different dissenter religious meeting houses established in Cork, with trade routes and networks developed through their work. Many fine houses and villas of these wealthy merchants line the approach to Cork along the banks of the Lee, while the 4-storey terraced houses which served as lodgings for ship passengers still surviving within the modern fabric of the city. 

From the mid 19th century many emigrant adventurers as well as prison convicts for transportation departed from Cork city and adjacent towns around the harbour. The prisons at Spike Island (Westmoreland / Fort Mitchell), and Elizabeth Fort were two significant locations at which thousands of Irish women and men were held (often for petty crime) before enforced voyage during the Famine years. The Burning of Cork in 1920 during the Irish War of Independence resulted in the rebuilding and modernization of large portions of the city centre, however, the port and harbour of Cork manages to maintain many features and much of its character reflecting its maritime, military and industrial heritage.

Cork City Council recognizes that a crucial element of Cork’s modern identity is attributable its culture and heritage, and is committed to the protection and enhancement of the many elements which reflect its important development history. It acknowledges that in so doing, social cohesion and the growth of its tourism industry with associated economic benefits can be achieved in a viable and sustainable manner going forward.

Limerick City and County Council. Southern and Eastern (IE)

Limerick City is almost 1,100 years old and gives its name to “The Limerick” a popular five-line humorous poem, thought to be derived from the 18th century Maigue Poets of Croom, Co. Limerick. Limerick has been a Viking settlement, a medieval walled town, a Georgian city and is now amodern, vibrant metropolitan area with a rich and historic hinterland.The cultural profile of Limerick is as multiple and diverse as its citizens and landscape.


Limerick was founded by the Vikings around 922 AD and is situated at the head of the Shannon Estuary. It is said that Limerick was chosen as the Viking Longboats couldn’t travel any further upstream due to the Curragower Falls.


The Estuary is 97km long and is tidal and is home to the largest natural deepwater port in Ireland (Foynes), Limerick Docks, while Foynes was also a transatlantic Flying Boat Seaport.



St Mary’s Cathedral in the oldest part of Limerick city was built in the eleventh century and remains the oldest building in Limerick still in use for its original purpose.


The Normans captured Limerick in 1195 and left their stamp on the city:King John’s Castle; the walls of Limerick and the local government system. They all survive to this day.Throughthe medieval period, Limerick became an important place of power and in 1413 King Henry V granted a charter which made Limerick an independent city-state.


In the 1530s, the Tudors brought major changes to Limerick.Protestantism arrived in Ireland. By 1603 the English crown controlled all of Ireland for the first time. Limerick lost most of its medieval independence.The seventeenth century was the most violent century in Ireland and Limerick’s history. The city endured four terrible sieges in 1642, 1651, 1690 and 1691 as the city was a central stage in the European wars.


After the fourth siege, the Treaty of Limerick was signed. Patrick Sarsfield and the other Catholic leaders left Limerick and Ireland. The Flight of the Wild Geese began.From the 1760s the walls of Limerick were taken down to allow the city to expand.


The nineteenth century was a period of great change with many public and social services introduced. Limerick took a major part in the events leading to Irish independence. Limerick’s most famous traditional industries were established including the four bacon factories (earning Limerick the nickname Pigtown); flour mills; dairy products; lace manufacturers and clothing factories.In 1919, it was the scene of a general strike known as the Limerick Soviet when the strike committee ran the city for two weeks.In 1922, it was besieged during the Civil War.In the past half century, Limerick has become a modern city.


These changes coincided with the establishment of The National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE), the precursor to the University of Limerick in 1972. In 2014, Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council amalgamated to become a single authority, ushering in a new era for Limerick.

Limerickis full of history and heritage with some of Ireland’s best pre-historic and medieval sites. It is a fun and creative place with a vibrant cultural, arts and music scene that is celebrated in the many different festivals and events held throughout the years.


In 2014 Limerick was designated the first Irish National City of Culture by the Irish Government. Limerick is a sporting centre of excellence and the rugby capital of Ireland.Great adventures await those who wish to explore the county’s diverse physical landscape.



A major attraction for people living and working in Limerick is its accessibility to some breath-taking natural beauty spots, from the majestic River Shannon, to the stunning Lough Gur, with its captivating scenery and folklore, along with a wealth of archaeology and history dating back to Stone Age times.


Limerick is also a gateway city to some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Europe; the Wild Atlantic Way, which includes the world-famous Burren and Cliffs of Moher and other stunning Atlantic coastal scenery.

Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Destination Management Organisation. Merseyside (UK)

Liverpool City Region is an economic and political area of England centred on Liverpool, which incorporates the local authority districts of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton,St Helens, and Wirral. A population of over 1.5million and an economy worth £29.5 billion and more than 600 000 people in employment.



The Visitor Economy, worth £4.3bn and supporting over 51,500 jobs, continues to develop as a major growth sector bringing both economic benefits and reputational advantage to the City Region.


Liverpool is maturing into a visitor destination with a city of international heritage and cultural significance, boasting two cathedrals and a UNESCO World Heritage waterfront. In addition to the city, areas such as Sefton & Wirral also offer a rich landscape of visitor experiences, celebrating, reflecting and building upon the maritime and industrial heritage that helped shape the modern world – in particular Port Sunlight and Lord Street, Southport.


Liverpool is a city built on its Maritime Heritage and world trade influence. Liverpool’s waterfront became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, centred around Liverpool as a Maritime Mercantile city. The World Heritage Site stretches along the waterfront fromAlbert Dock, through to thePier Headand up to Stanley Dock, and then up through the historic commercial districts.


In 1715, the first ever commercial wet dock opened in Liverpool, the Old Dock. TheAlbert Dockon Liverpool’s waterfront was an architectural triumph that opened in 1846 and was the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone. By the late 19th Century, 40% of the world’s trade was passing through Liverpool’s docks.


Liverpool became the second city of the British Empire in the mid-19th century. The massive growth of the city as a global maritime force led to a huge dock extension throughout the 19th century which eventually stretched seven miles along the Mersey riverfront. The gradual decline in trade through the port of Liverpool after the war meant that the entire south docks, including Albert Dock, were finally made redundant in 1972.


After major regeneration and investment, by 1988 the refurbishment of the Dock itself was complete and it and the Tate Liverpool were opened.Today, , Albert Dock is a successful multi-use complex with shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, offices, housing and cultural attractions, surrounded by open public space and a huge water space. It attracts 6 million visitors a year. The whole area is a site for many public events and festivals and sits at the centre of a World Heritage Site. However, the challenges of the future include how Albert Dock retains its distinctiveness and modernity whilst preserving its heritage.



On behalf of the Liverpool City Region, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) is the nominated project lead for the MMIAH Interreg project. As part of this role of overseeing the delivery of all local activity under each of the work programmes 3-5, it will also be responsible for leading Work programme 5 on behalf of the MMIAH partnership,involving the development of a strategic director plan for Liverpool and producing the final white paper for the entire programme (Work programme 3). The geographic focus will be the area of the Liverpool waterfront starting at the Albert Dock/Kings Dock through to the redundant dockland areas. Outcomes of this activity will also contribute to a spatial planning document for the Liverpool’s iconic waterfront to ensure that the area’s maritime and industrial heritage assets are conserved and contribute to its long-term tourist offer. Central to developing this is the Albert Dock given that it is an exemplar of how abandoned industrial heritage can be repurposed for tourism and act as a catalyst for a broader programme of social and economic regeneration.

Port Sunlight Village Trust
Port Sunlight is the UK’s finest example of an industrial worker village and early Garden City planning.

Port Sunlight was founded in 1888 by William Lever to house the workers at his soap factory, Lever Brothers, which eventually became the global giant, Unilever. Port Sunlight was built by Lever in response to the appalling living and working conditions he witnessed in the second half of the 19th century. However, rather than a philanthropic venture, Lever described it as a business model based on the premise of ‘prosperity-sharing’. Instead of distributing company profits to his employees, Lever provided workers with good homes and access to healthcare, education and leisure activities.

Sunlight soap was first produced in 1884 and gave its name to Port Sunlight, which, as well as workers’ houses, had allotments, a cottage hospital, schools, a concert hall, an open-air swimming pool and an art gallery. Lever intended to make his employees’ and their families lives secure and comfortable, to enable them to flourish as people, and to inspire loyalty and commitment. Throughout his life, Lever also campaigned at a national level for better welfare and a shorter working day for working class people. He introduced workplace pensions, supported education and financed medical research.

All of these features have helped cement Port Sunlight’s significance within the UK’s history of planned communities, and influenced developments home and abroad. Indeed, the movement has renewed relevance because of the UK Government’s plans for a new generation of garden villages.

The village has remained largely intact since its foundation in 1888. There are approximately 900 Grade II listed buildings set in 130 acres of parkland and gardens. Nearly every period of British architecture is represented, and 29 architectural firms were involved in its development. Today the village enjoys national Green Flag and Green Heritage Accreditation. Port Sunlight is still an important global hub for Unilever with manufacturing, IT, and research and development taking place on site. Its stately, Grade II-listed office building, Lever House, is a historic gateway to the modern facilities behind the original factory wall.

Port Sunlight has always been a visitor destination, and it is estimated that each year the village welcomes about 300,000 visitors who come for the fascinating social history, beautiful setting and world-class art and architecture. The village remains a residential community, home to just over 2,000 residents.

Port Sunlight Village Trust (PSVT) is responsible for protecting and promoting Port Sunlight. An independent charity founded in 1999, PSVT’s vision is to make Port Sunlight an inspiring place to live, work and visit. As guardians of Port Sunlight’s unique heritage, PSVT works with the community and partners to ensure a great quality of life for residents and to celebrate William Lever’s amazing legacy through cultural and learning experiences for all.