Residents are being asked for their ideas on how to celebrate a major milestone in the borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme’s long and rich history.

The Council is launching an online questionnaire to gather people’s suggestions ahead of the 850th anniversary of Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2023.

In particular views are being sought on how to make the most of the town’s proud links with famous son Philip Astley – who created the modern circus in 1768 by bringing together clowns, jugglers and acrobats in a ring for the first time – through the expansion of a hugely successful arts programme which has already included Homecoming events in the town centre, AstleyFest in the Lyme Valley, a visit by No Fit State Circus, exhibitions at the Brampton Museum and a production at the New Vic Theatre.

The questionnaire is available until Friday, 29 January 2021.

Cllr Jill Waring, Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, said: “The 850th anniversary of Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2023 is a momentous occasion so we plan to celebrate it in an appropriate way that is remembered for generations to come. We want to bring the history of our loyal and ancient borough alive – boosting the local economy in the process – and would like some input from residents on how that can be achieved. I know the world is a very different place at the moment but this could be an enjoyable way to think about the future.”

The borough was founded in 1173 when Henry II granted a royal charter of incorporation after a population quickly grew up around a new castle built by the Normans in around 1145.

(Main image Tony Woolliscroft.)

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