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How did Berwick become a Cittaslow town?

Other towns in the United Kingdom gained Cittaslow status through local authority initiatives but in Berwick the impetus was initiated and carried forward by local individuals and community groups.

To be accredited with Cittaslow status, a town must assess itself in relation to a comprehensive set of criteria.

No town is expected to meet all the criteria immediately, but each must demonstrate how it intends to address any of the goals that it does not meet initially.

The criteria are laid out under six headings: Environment; Infrastructure; Urban Fabric; Local Produce and Products; Community and Hospitality; Communicating Awareness of Cittaslow.

Following a series of public meetings and consultations with a wide range of individuals and organisations, a steering group was formed to gather evidence to show how closely the town may fit with the 60 criteria set down by the international Cittaslow Movement.

In the meantime a group of local people with an interest in encouraging the wider availability and use of local produce formed the Berwick Slow Food Convivium, which is an essential requirement before a town can complete its Cittaslow accreditation.

The process of assembling the necessary information took eighteen months of effort by volunteers in the community and the hard work was rewarded when Berwick-upon-Tweed was awarded Cittaslow town status in May 2007.

Click here to see the Criteria for Cittaslow town status