World Celebration of Robert Owen

Jane Masters is thrilled the celebration is happening now, a few months later than planned.

New Lanark: A Living Legacy is a hybrid event, taking place both in person at the World Heritage Site and online, from Tuesday March 1 through Thursday March 3.

With a packed program of speakers and panel discussions, the conference will explore the legacies of social reform and heritage-driven regeneration.

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Speakers will include Kate Pugh OBE, Non-Executive Director for Culture at the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and Dr Wei Yang, Chairman of the Royal Town Planning Institute for 2021.

The conference also celebrates the 20th anniversary of New Lanark’s UNESCO World Heritage designation and the completion of the £4.5million National Lottery and Restoration Heritage Fund funded by Historic Environment Scotland of the old carpenters’ housing program.

Robert Owen was a pioneering social reformer who provided educational opportunities and improved housing and lifestyle conditions for New Lanark Mills employees, creating a model for industrial communities that was adopted around the world.

Today, the former 18th century cotton mill village attracts families from all over the world and generates its own hydroelectricity. Jane Masters, Head of Heritage and Development at the New Lanark Trust, said: “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, 2021 marked a number of important milestones for New Lanark and, although a few months later than originally planned, we are delighted to present this global conference.

“It has attracted speakers from countries as far apart as Japan and Mexico who all share a passion for New Lanark’s heritage and ethos – whether it be social reform, heritage-driven regeneration or of world heritage.

“Robert Owen’s legacy is far-reaching and relevant in 2022 as we continue to fight for all he stood for – especially educational opportunity and workers’ rights.”

The conference is supported by South Lanarkshire Council, Historic Environment Scotland and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Tickets can be purchased from the New Lanark Trust website from £5.

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