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Five year vision launched for historic New Lanark

19 April 2013

The new five year vision for the New Lanark World Heritage Site (WHS) has been launched setting out the plan that will see the cultural heritage of the historic village preserved, enhanced and promoted over the coming years.

The New Lanark World Heritage Site management plan was unveiled by Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, during a visit to the 18th century Lanarkshire village. The launch has been timed to coincide with World Heritage Day, an international day which celebrates world heritage sites – including Scotland’s five sites - and their contribution to society.

The management plan provides an overview of the challenges, objectives and actions for the key partners and other stakeholders in the future management of the WHS. New Lanark was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 2001 and the delivery of a five year plan is a commitment as part of that.

This plan has been devised by the New Lanark WHS Partnership Group which comprises New Lanark Trust, Historic Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council. It has undertaken extensive consultation with the community, key stakeholders, as well as the wider public to help inform the future framework for the management of the WHS.

A key component of the document is the action plan which outlines the measureable actions and outcomes which contribute to the management of the site. These are reviewed annually.

New Lanark was established in 1785 by David Dale as a cotton mill village. However, it was Dale’s son-in-law Robert Owen who brought an enlightened management style and improved working and living conditions for residents by introducing free healthcare, decent homes, affordable food and education. Owen also ended child labour and corporal punishment.

In launching the management plan, Mr Yousaf said: “It is very appropriate that World Heritage Day was chosen to launch New Lanark’s five year management plan as we are able to celebrate the contribution this historic cotton mill village has made to Scotland since it was established.

“New Lanark is a unique place. It teaches us a great deal about our industrial and social heritage and is very much treasured as part of our rich and varied historic environment. This plan will ensure New Lanark continues to not only realise its full potential but also continues to educate and inform us of life in 18th century Lanarkshire.

Mr Yousaf added: “I am also delighted at the partnership approach that has been taken to developing this plan. This adds strength to the plan and ensures there is a co-ordinated approach and effort to delivering the actions that stem from it.”

Lorna Davidson, Director of New Lanark Trust, said: “New Lanark is an authentic and enduring historic community. Its remarkable story has touched the lives of millions of people from all over the world. We hope that with strong support from our partners in the World Heritage Site, we can ensure that New Lanark continues to make a very significant contribution to the cultural life and economic well-being of South Lanarkshire and Scotland.”  

South Lanarkshire Council Provost, Councillor Eileen Logan, said: “The progress that has been made around the World Heritage Site in the last 35 years is remarkable. We also recognise that there is a need to develop and protect the site for future generations.

“The management plan does exactly that and I am certain it will help secure and enhance New Lanark as a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy. It is particularly pleasing that the plan is being produced during Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013 which celebrates the achievements of the region and its people over the last 200 years.”

Cllr Logan added: “One of the key figures who the celebrations will recognise is Robert Owen, the founding father of the New Lanark site.”

To view the full New Lanark World Heritage Site management plan

Notes for editors:
  • There are five WHS in Scotland: St Kilda inscribed in 1986; Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (1995); Heart of Neolithic Orkney (1999); New Lanark (2001) and Antonine Wall (2008). A bid is currently being made to UNESCO have the Forth Bridge inscribed as Scotland’s sixth WHS

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring our people and our visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond. Find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty at

Historic Scotland around the web:

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For further information

John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827