County gets ready to celebrate

Children from all over the county join Provosts Jim Robertson and Eileen Logan and New Lanarkshire Limited chairman Iain Livingstone at the launch of Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013.
Children from all over the county join Provosts Jim Robertson and Eileen Logan and New Lanarkshire Limited chairman Iain Livingstone at the launch of Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013.

A RALLYING call has gone out to everyone who loves and takes pride in Lanarkshire to make 2013 a very special year.

Next February’s bi-centenary of David Livingstone has prompted the Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013 initiative that will highlight the county’s achievements and milestones over the past 200 years to boost its profile as a tourist destination.

With support from Creative Scotland’s year of 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.

North Lanarkshire provost James Robertson joined his South Lanarkshire counterpart, Provost Eileen Logan, and New Lanarkshire’s chairman Ian Livingstone at the recent launch at the David Livingstone Memorial in Blantyre.

They were joined by children representing Lanarkshire’s future from across the area including Netherton, Cathedral, Keir Hardie and Firpark Primaries.

The excitement generated by Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013 is already paying dividends, with a major sponsor signing up.  

Creative Scotland is contributing £80,000 for the development of a creative programme that will include everything from dance and music to visual art and fashion.

A further £36,000 will be concentrated on arts and crafts events in the Clyde Valley.

Lanarkshire’s famous sons and daughters are being requested to act as champions for the programme and the widow of Scots conductor Sir Alexander Gibson has already agreed that the spring concert in April should be named after him.

Provost Logan wants as many local people as possible to embrace the celebrations and help promote Lanarkshire both around Britain and around the world.

She said: “We want everyone to come on board with us and enjoy a fantastic year. 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.

”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.

He said: “After the huge success of the Children’s Games last summer this is the perfect opportunity to further cement the area’s reputation and I am sure there will be a great response to create a real sense of civic pride across Lanarkshire.”

Creative Scotland’s director of creative development Iain Munro said: “Celebrating Lanarkshire provides a wonderful opportunity to promote the region’s cultural and creative strengths at home and on the world stage enhancing the region’s position as a tourist destination.”

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 – make them aware of your event and they’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 area many are planning Celebrating Lanarkshire themed events throughout the special year.

Community group organisers should e-mail supercounty@scotent.co.uk or phone Karen Lambie at 01698 742050. 

North Lanarkshire Schools arranging events should e-mail details to arts@northlan.gov.uk or phone 01236 812200; South Lanarkshire Schools should e-mail education@southlanarkshire.gov.uk or phone 01698 454375.