I was pleased to be elected as Chair of the APPG on Industrial Heritage this afternoon.

We should be proud of our industrial heritage, here in Barnsley and across the UK. The Industrial Revolution which began in the UK changed the world, while here in Barnsley, we celebrate heritage sites such as Worsbrough Mill and the historic village of Elsecar, and a coal mining industry which powered the nation.

I have long been a supporter of efforts to celebrate and preserve our local heritage, from visiting sites in Barnsley, highlighting in Parliament the importance of protecting our industrial history, and meeting with Historic England and Barnsley Council to discuss their work on projects such as the Elsecar Heritage Action Zone.

Following this work, it was fantastic to see the recent upgrading and listing of 16 historic sites in Elsecar -; protecting and maintaining sites that are at risk has never been more important, and with the impact of COVID-19, it has never been more challenging.

Our industrial heritage should be accessible to everyone. As the MP for Barnsley East, and now as the chair of the APPG on Industrial Heritage, I will continue to work with colleagues across Parliament, heritage organisations and voluntary groups to ensure that this is the case, both now and for future generations.

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