Berwick-upon-Tweed has become the sixth town in the UK to be admitted into the Slow Food-inspired Cittaslow international movement. Cittaslow UK is ‘led’ by Ludlow in Shropshire, the first town in the UK to be accepted by the international Cittaslow network. Other British members are Diss and Aylsham in Norfolk, Mold in North Wales and Perth, Scotland.
A Cittaslow town focuses attention on local communities, transport, hospitality and trade. It seeks to enhance the quality of urban life through the practical application of a philosophy that seeks to combine elements of tradition with the benefits of appropriate modern technologies. In such a town, the local administration and the community work together for the benefit of all.
Berwick’s formal bid to join the movement was prepared by a community group of volunteers, all of whom live and/or work in Berwick. The group benefited from the active encouragement and support of Berwick Borough Council’s regeneration team and information and advice from council staff. During a 12-month assessment program, in which where 60 admission criteria were evaluated, a Slow Food Convivium was formed in Berwick.
A town-wide display will be staged by the working group later in the year to explain to citizens all about the implications of Berwick’s becoming a Cittaslow town.
Berwick is situated in the county of Northumberland on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. The northernmost town in England, it is 4 km) south of the Scottish border. A market town, for a period of over 300 years from the mid 11th century, the town was of strategic importance in the wars between England and Scotland. The architecture of the town, especially its fine 16th-century defensive ramparti, reflects its past.
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