Ludlow became the first Cittaslow in the UK, in 2003 and is the lead town in the UK network. The second UK town to complete the Cittaslow assessment was Aylsham. During the first annual board meeting of Cittaslow UK, held in the Corn Hall, Diss, on Saturday 18th March 2006, Diss was welcomed into membership of Cittaslow UK. Cittaslow has close links to Slow Food in the UK.
Cittaslow UK is poised for growth, now that the experiences of Ludlow, Aylsham and Diss can be used to develop the UK network. Already, towns in Wales and Scotland are on the verge of applying to Cittaslow, and the Cittaslow UK organisation, headquartered in Ludlow, Shropshire, is finalising an information pack that will shortly be available to enquiring towns.
The Diss experience Edit
"It is a major achievement to become Cittaslow," said Diss Mayor Tony Palmer. "The Town Council and the Diss and District Development Partnership have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare Diss for membership of the Cittaslow network for a while now. A wide range of different groups, from the District Council to the Business Forum, have been involved in the project, which has also led to the formation of a Slow Food Convivium in Diss."
"The Diss Town Guide explains the background. Being a member of Cittaslow means that our town is recognised as being committed to living life at a human scale, and has signed up to keep working to improve its performance against a set of very sensible Goals that will help guide us on the right course to improving Diss for its residents."
"The Town Council can now look forward to playing a part in the wider Cittaslow movement, and will keep up the work towards improving quality of life for everyone in Diss, for residents and for visitors. Working with a wide range of local partners, the Town Council will keep making a difference for Diss. For instance, the Diss and District Development Partnership has just appointed a specialist fund-raiser to hunt down grants in the UK and Europe that will help us move forward on Cittaslow-inspired projects in our town."
"It’s very pleasing to welcome Diss into the network," said Graeme Kidd, President of Cittaslow UK and the Mayor of Ludlow. "Since Diss started on the journey to Cittaslow under the East of England Development Agency’s ‘pilot project’ - there have been ups and downs for everyone involved, but now Diss has arrived at the point where it’s a member of Cittaslow UK."
"The journey, of course, never ends - Cittaslow is a continuous process of self-improvement for a town. It’s not about bureaucrats ticking boxes, but about people joining in and working together to have fun and to improve the place where they live, celebrating its local traditions, culture and what makes it different. The set of Cittaslow Goals is designed to provide sensible objectives that any group in a town can subscribe to and help work towards."
- Cittaslow UK press release, March 2006