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GOVERNMENT BACKS 'THE GREENWICH OPPORTUNITY'

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The government will reconsider Greenwich's claim to become a World Heritage site, national heritage secretary Steph...
The government will reconsider Greenwich's claim to become a World Heritage site, national heritage secretary Stephen Dorrell announced today.

Speaking at a conference to consider the future of Greenwich Park, Mr Dorrell said he would be taking a personal interest in 'The Greenwich Opportunity'.

Mr Dorrell welcomed the proposal that the Great Axis at Greenwich should be reopened. This was 'a powerful and imaginative idea, attractive because of its simplicity and involving several aspects of my role as heritage secretary'.

'As Royal parks minister, I believe we must improve the central axis of Greenwich Park. As minister for the National Maritime Museum, I want to see the access from both the Royal Park and Royal Hospital site improved.

'As champion of Britain's National Heritage, I want to ensure that there is a viable long term use for the fine buildings of Greenwich Hospital which respects their architectural quality.

'As chairman of the Millennium Commission, I shall be looking very carefully at proposals to integrate the hospital site with riverfront development.

'As tourism minister, I shall ensure that we improve tourist facilities at this major unrealised opportunity. It has the power to bring jobs and prosperity to this part of London.

'The Greenwich Opportunity is a chance to deliver a vision - a vision that reflects our history. But it can also demonstrate our determination in this generation to rise above the humdrum.

'To find uses and opportunities which reflect our commitment to cherish this jewel of our national heritage and to enhance the natural environment in which that jewel is set.'

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