Scotland’s Forth Bridge and the Gorham’s Cave complex in Gibraltar - one of the last known habitations of Neanderthal man - have been invited to prepare formal bids for World Heritage status.
The Forth Bridge near Edinburgh has been invited to prepare a nomination for 2014 and Gorham’s Cave Complex in Gibraltar will go forward in 2015, in plans announced by Heritage Minister, John Penrose.
"Nomination to Unesco for world heritage status is incredibly rewarding,” he said, "but the process is pretty tough and success is by no means guaranteed. Both the Forth Bridge and Gorham’s Cave are strong contenders, so I wish them all the best."
A total of four sites had submitted their cases for technical evaluation by Unesco's UK Expert Group out of a possible eleven on the UK's tentative list.
Of these, only the Forth Bridge and Gorham's Cave were judged suitable for nomination at this stage.
Once the sites' nominations have been submitted, they will undergo a demanding 18-month process of scrutiny and evaluation by Unesco and its advisory body, the International Council on Monuments and Sites.
Unesco's World Heritage Committee is expected to take the final decision on the Forth Bridge in June 2015 and on the Gorham’s Cave complex in 2016.
The two sites which were not recommended to go forward at this stage were Chatham Historic Dockyard and the Lake District.
They will be able to take part in the next round of technical evaluations, along with other sites on the UK tentative list, which will take place in the autumn of 2013.
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