Cultural heritage is a key component to the attractiveness of Europe (..) and provides its regions, cities, towns and rural areas with a strong basis to develop cultural tourism and attracting investment” writes a new report “Cultural heritage counts for Europe”.

The report is the result of a two-year project funded by the EU Culture Programme (2007-2013) to assess the socioeconomic, cultural and environmental value of cultural heritage, raise awareness on its multiple benefits and present policy recommendations for tapping into its full potential.

Cultural heritage is a “significant creator of jobs across Europe” as well as an “important source of creativity and innovation” and “has a track record of providing good return on investment”, say the project partners – Europa Nostra, the European Network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education, Heritage Europe, the International Cultural Centre (Krakow, Poland), the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and The Heritage Alliance (England, UK).

Cultural heritage is also “a catalyst for sustainable heritage-led regeneration” for cities (Krakow, Lille, Liverpool or Manchester), “contributes to the quality of life”, “provides a stimulus to education (..) feelings of civic pride and belonging (..) and helps deliver social cohesion”.

The project findings underpin the policy direction the EU has embarked on in 2014, with the EU Council of Ministers recognising cultural heritage as a “strategic resource for a sustainable Europe”.

They echo the findings of another report published earlier “Getting cultural heritage to work for Europe”.