In 2024, Knowsley is 50 years old and to mark the occasion a series of celebratory events and special moments will take place throughout the year.
As well as the immensely popular annual events like the Knowsley Flower Show, Knowsley Feelgood Festival, and Prescot Elizabethan Fayre (to name just a few!), plans for the year have been boosted thanks to £180,000 of funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. This will be used specifically to support local communities to celebrate their heritage.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council commented: “It’s hard to imagine that Knowsley only came into being as an official borough in 1974. It’s been a remarkable 50 years and as a local resident throughout that time, I know just how much change we have seen and progress the place has made.
“It therefore seems only fitting that we do mark our 50th year with some special celebrations and that we give our communities the chance to really get involved and celebrate everything that is so wonderful about the place we call home.”
Knowsley’s plans for its 50th year will build on its success as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture in 2022. This was an incredibly special year for Knowsley which saw more than 60 events take place attracting more than half a million people – three times more than the actual population of the borough. It was also a year in which towns and villages across Knowsley were encouraged and supported to tell their own unique stories – a theme that will be carried into 2024.
In particular, the additional funding from The National Heritage Lottery Fund will be used to support eight community groups (one from each area of the borough previously engaged during Knowsley Borough of Culture year) develop their own heritage projects. As well as being provided with a project grant, each group will be supported over a two year period with training opportunities and they will be able to commission professional support to mentor them on their heritage journey. These groups will then be encouraged to launch their projects or events during 2024.
Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “After the Borough of Culture brought a wonderful year of activity in 2022, we are absolutely thrilled to be supporting Knowsley’s 50th year celebrations. It is fantastic to know, that thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, local people will be able to explore the heritage that is meaningful to them by curating their own unique projects. This work will showcase how heritage can play a role in bringing people together, create a sense of pride in local communities and in turn boost the local economy.”
Alongside this, there will of course be lots of other events and attractions including Knowsley’s famous Flower Show, Knowsley Music Festival, the Feelgood Festival, Education Awards, Prescot Elizabethan Fayre, Business Awards, Sylvia Gore Schoolgirls’ Cup and a packed programme of exhibitions at Kirkby Gallery.
In addition, projects with local schools are being planned, along with initiatives to work with residents to unearth facts about Knowsley and celebrate people and businesses who have made a positive impact on the borough.
More details will be released in the coming weeks and months.
The Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley was officially created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act of 1972.