Launch of Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013
Published Thursday, 14 June 2012
A rallying call has gone out to everyone who loves and takes pride in Lanarkshire to make 2013 a very special year.
Community groups, schools, churches, the local press and media, businesses and members of the public are all being urged to get involved in Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013.
Next February's bi-centenary of David Livingstone, one of our most famous sons, has prompted the initiative that will highlight the region's achievements and milestones over the past 200 years with aim of raising its profile as a tourist destination during and beyond 2012 the Year of Creative Scotland.
With support from Creative Scotland's year of Creative Scotland Culture and Tourism initiative, Civic pride organisation New Lanarkshire Limited has joined forces with both North and South Lanarkshire Councils to promote the year-long calendar of events that will celebrate Lanarkshire, its people and places, past and present.
North Lanarkshire Provost James Robertson joined his South Lanarkshire counterpart, Provost Eileen Logan, and New Lanarkshire's chair Ian Livingstone at the recent launch at the David Livingstone Memorial in Blantyre (highlights on YouTube).
They were joined by school children representing Lanarkshire's future from across the area.
The excitement generated by Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013 is already paying dividends, with a major sponsor already on board.
Creative Scotland is contributing £80,000 for the development of a creative programme that will include everything from dance to music, visual art and fashion. And a further £36,000 will be concentrated on arts and crafts events in the Clyde Valley.
A call has also gone out to Lanarkshire's famous sons and daughters to act as champions for the programme and the widow of Scots conductor Sir Alexander Gibson has agreed that the Spring Concert in April should be named after him.
Provost Eileen Logan wants as many local people as possible to embrace the celebrations and help promote Lanarkshire both around Britain and around the world.
Provost Logan said: "We want everyone to come on board with us and enjoy a fantastic year. We owe it to the young people, who are our future, to show them just how much they can achieve.
"And that's why we're looking to all the organisations in the area to join forces and do something that's wonderful and memorable."
Provost Robertson added: "Lanarkshire has an enormous amount to celebrate in terms of its achievements, its development, its resilience in the face of adversity and the sons and daughters that have gone on to achieve greatness in their respective fields, whether it be in medicine, sport, entertainment, exploration, industry or politics.
"We have so much to be proud of and this is our chance to exhibit that pride in who we are, and what we do best, to the rest of Britain and internationally."
New Lanarkshire chairman Ian Livingstone agrees this is the region's chance to shine. "After the huge success of the Children's Games last summer, which raised Lanarkshire's profile around the globe, this is the perfect opportunity to further cement the area's reputation.
"And I am sure there will be a great response to our rallying call for community groups across the region to step up and help deliver another successful event and in so doing, create a real sense of civic pride across Lanarkshire."
Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland, said: "Celebrating Lanarkshire provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and promote the region's cultural and creative strengths at home and on the world stage during and beyond 2012 the Year of Creative Scotland, enhancing the regions position as a tourist destination.
"Lanarkshire has turned out a number of high profile talented artists so this is sure to be a truly inspirational event."
Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013 aims to raise awareness and celebrate Livingstone's life and achievements, along with a long list of other cultural and sporting heroes with Lanarkshire connections.
So, how can you help?
New Lanarkshire Limited is keen to hear from community groups with their ideas for 2013.
An event toolkit has been prepared that groups can use to help organise their event and to seek funding from the lottery and other potential funders.
No matter how small or how big - let us know about your event and we'll ensure it's acknowledged and given publicity on the official Celebrating Lanarkshire website due to be launched later this year.
Schools across Lanarkshire have responded very positively to presentations on the Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013 initiative and many are planning Celebrating Lanarkshire themed events in their schools throughout the special year.