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Minister Opens World Heritage Gym

22 February 2008

South Lanarkshire Provost Russell Clearie MBE, Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP, Julianne Stewart, fitness suite manager, Arthur Bell CBE, chair of New Lanark Conservation Trust, and Dr Jim Arnold, director of New Lanark Conservation Trust.
Speaking at the new facility at the New Lanark Mill Hotel, Ms Fabiani said: “New Lanark has a fascinating history as a social and industrial exemplar and it continues to evolve to meet the needs of its community and visitors. I am in no doubt that David Dale and Robert Owen would approve!”

“Being recognised as a World Heritage Site is a huge accolade. It reflects that a sites’ historical and cultural importance has to be considered in global terms. This facility, in the heart of such an important site, shows that New Lanark continues to serve its community - providing jobs, promoting a healthy lifestyle, using environmentally sustainable energy, as well as being an icon of the industrial age. “

The leisure suite is part of the ongoing programme of restoration at the mills by the New Lanark Conservation Trust (NLCT). It has involved South Lanarkshire Council, The European Development Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire, the Energy Saving Trust, as well as Historic Scotland.

New Lanark was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.

In response to the Scottish Government commitment to increase awareness of Scots the plaque the Minister will unveil is in Lallans as is the opening address from the chair of the NLCT, Arthur Bell.

He said: “It wis in 1816 that Maister Owen wis building’ yon grand Institute o’ his “Fur th’ Formation O’ Character”. Fowk were tae use it fur the exercise o’ dancin’ an’ the like, fir tae injoy themsels, an’ fir their guid heal. Those yins whae wanted tae sweem hid the River Clyde. Noo, oor Club an’ the watter hereby are het by yon River Clyde oot there.”

The hotel building originally housed a cotton mill at the heart of the landscape of New Lanark where Robert Owen created a model for industrial communities that was to spread across the world in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Notes for editors
·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.

·Inscribed in 2001, New Lanark World Heritahe Site is one of four WHS in Scotland.For more information on New Lanark visit Founded in 1785 by David Dale as a new industrial settlement, New Lanark ceased commercial mill production in 1968.

·New Lanark is synonymous with Robert Owen and his social philosophies on education, factory reform, humane working conditions and cooperation, which influenced social developments throughout the 19th century and beyond.

·The text of the plaque unveiled by the Minister is in Lallans and reads:

New Lanark Leasure Club
Oos Club wis apen’d fur fowks’ leasure an’ pleasure wi’ sweemin’ an ither sports on this the 22nd o’ Februar, Twa Thoosan’ an’ Aicht, by Linda Fabiani MSP, Meenister fir Europe, Extaneare Affeirs, an’ Culture, in th’ Scots Governament.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Historic Scotland
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873