The head of English Heritage praised local pride and efforts in protecting Haworth ’s rich history during a visit to the world-famous Bronte parsonage museum.

Baroness Andrews chose Yorkshire Day to visit one of Bradford district’s most important tourist traps, which is also a conservation area classified as in “very bad” condition in the organisation’s latest ‘at risk’ register.

English Heritage chiefs have described Haworth as being one of its top ten Yorkshire priorities, and have urged for more to be done to make it an international destination.

Baroness Andrews said: “Haworth has an extraordinary heritage and I can understand why it attracts people from all over the world. It’s a symbol of women’s writing and women’s freedom of expression and it’s in a most beautiful part of Yorkshire.

“The wealth of our country is not just its industry but is also its local tourism and its heritage, which creates wealth and employment. So valuing our heritage is not incidental or sentimental.

“In most places like Haworth, which have a level of international interest, you do see local pride kicking in.”

Baroness Andrews was on her first visit to Haworth with a delegation including English Heritage Yorkshire planning director Trevor Mitchell.

The English Heritage chairman stressed the need for historic villages such as Haworth to balance conservation with the needs of people who live and work in the area.

English Heritage is backing a project to renovate the rundown Old School Room, and is providing a £15,000 grant to pay for replacement windows.

It is also supporting the refurbishment of Haworth Parish Church, which contains the crypt where Emily and Charlotte Bronte are buried. After touring the parsonage museum, they were taken to see the Old School Room, the parish church and Main Street, and to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway before a tour of regeneration projects in Bradford.

Bradford Council leader, David Green, took Baroness Andrews on a tour of the Wool Exchange and Little Germany, among other heritage areas in the city centre.

He said: “She was really impressed with Haworth and the work that is being done there to attract tourists to the district, but she was also impressed with the city centre.

“We had a discussion regarding the opportunities and problems that listed and heritage buildings can pose in terms of regeneration. It was a really good and fruitful discussion about how we can move forward without damaging the district’s heritage.”