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Glasgow's 850th Birthday

2025 will be a big year for Glasgow as we celebrate the city's 850th birthday. It's a milestone and everyone who has or does call Glasgow home is invited to the party.

We want to join and support partners to create a yearlong inclusive, citywide, programme of events and activities that reflect on how the city has transformed, particularly over the last fifty years and how we can inspire accelerated change, for a better, sustainable, future, over the next fifty years.

This anniversary provides an opportunity to:

  • Join with partners to reflect on the city's transformation and growth since 1975 when Glasgow 800 was celebrated
  • Speed up ambitions for the future centred around the Council's grand challenges of tackling poverty and inequality and increasing prosperity and opportunity
  • Continue our fight against the climate emergency and improve our sustainability
  • Put the River Clyde at the centre of this storytelling. The lifeblood of the city and is the symbol for community wealth building and climate action for the future.
  • Enhance Glasgow's reputation and brand at home and abroad
  • Delivering memorable moments and legacy for our city's communities.

Brand Unveiled

G850 saracen primary school

Glasgow City Council has revealed the new brand behind its plans to mark the city's 850th birthday, in 2025.

The four core icons used with the brand use recognisable symbols synonymous with Glasgow's story. More symbols will be developed to highlight the wide-ranging achievements of the city and its people, with a special focus on the past fifty years and a strong emphasis on its future ambitions.

Developed to complement the city's distinctive and popular People Make Glasgow look, the new brand brings plans for a yearlong programme of activities for Glasgow 850 together under one strong visual identity.

Throughout 2025 Glasgow will mark its 850th birthday by delivering, with partners, a, citywide programme that celebrates and reflects on our recent past, our present and future.

The calendar of signature events and community-based activities is being curated to let those with a connection to Glasgow, at home and abroad, get involved to tell their stories, honouring our rich heritage, reflecting on transformational growth, and inspiring ambitious change for the city's next fifty years.

The brand, which is based on the idea of badges, will be free to use and made available to businesses, and community groups, to help them show support for Glasgow 850 and get involved. It has been developed in a way that the icons around the core Glasgow 850 image could be changed and customised to make it more personal to groups and individuals with an affinity to the city.

Designed by Glasgow-based firm Tangent, the idea came from thinking about how people have and continue to use physical badges to visually represent who they are - reflecting passions, achievements and allegiances.

In today's digital first age, people will be offered different digital 'badge' icons to use, each representing something the city can be proud of and a way to curate their own icons, with meaningful and relevant symbols. This allows everyone mark this milestone and show the world what Glasgow means to them, personally.

Susanne Miller, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council said: "Marking the city's 850th birthday is an opportunity that goes beyond celebrations and commemorations. It acknowledges the contributions of generations who have shaped the city, gives a platform to grow a shared sense of belonging and invites people to guide our future.

"This new Glasgow850 brand is an imaginative and inclusive way for people to take part and express what Glasgow means to them and helping them to tell their story."

The concept and design were met with approval from children from Saracen Primary School in Possilpark, where they were given a sneak peek before the official launch.

Jaxson, P6 said; "I think it's a cool idea. We've learned about the city's story with the bird, bell, fish and the tree and so I can see that they mean something to Glasgow." His classmate David commented, "I love the idea of thinking up what our own symbols might be and how that can be something we want to see in Glasgow's future."

Alison McGill Headteacher at Saracen Primary in Possilpark, in the north of the city, said, "The brand is vibrant and relevant to Glasgow. Because of the colour used, people will know when they see it that it is for them to get involved in.

"Seeing the brand has given us a great starting point to go away and have a think about how we might turn this milestone for the city into a learning opportunity for the children, what it means to them and how we can get involved next year.

"Sense of identity is a key part of our children's learning as it gives a strong feeling of belonging. For this reason, we start every new school year with a local area study, next year we will be extending our focus city-wide."

The main programme for Glasgow 850, starting January 2025 will be launched in September this year.

Festival Fund

The Glasgow 850 Festival Fund has been launched to support and enhance local talent and communities as part of the city celebrations for 2025.

This new funding stream has been designed to enable and encourage organisations to get involved in the celebrations and enhance their existing festival and/or event by developing a Glasgow 850 specific element to be delivered in 2025. 

Bids are being sought from established festivals and events to add value to their existing festival offerings by including additional programming which can celebrate or showcase the richness and diversity of Glasgow talent, engage children and young people in the city and/or deliver community outreach activity

Glasgow based organisations can apply for funding of up to £10,000 and the application process is now open. You have until 5pm on Wednesday 31 July 2024, to submit your application and successful bidders will be announced in September and form part of the Glasgow 850 programme.

Full application guidelines can be found in the downloadable link at the bottom of this section, along with the application form which should be completed and returned to glasgow850@glasgow.gov.uk

 

Themes

The proposed Glasgow 850 programme will be curated, with partners, across several important themes in the city that are reflective of our past, present and future.

  • Communities and neighbourhoods
  • Education and young people
  • Culture
  • Business and skills
  • Civic
  • The climate emergency
  • Tourism and visitor economy
  • Architecture and heritage
  • Science and Innovation
  • Immigration
  • Food and drink
  • Sport
  • Volunteering

 

Timeline

The first half of 2024 will be devoted to engaging with partners and stakeholders to raise awareness of the anniversary year and explore potential opportunities for the council to support around the themes and enable partners to activate their own plans.

We will also seek to directly and indirectly, through Glasgow family and partners, engage with our businesses and culturally rich and diverse communities and local organisations to have conversations about how they can get involved and shape the citywide programme - telling their Glasgow story, in their way.

A Glasgow 850 brand for use by partners, businesses, organisations and communities showing support for, and inclusion in, the celebratory year is in development and will be available for use.

It is expected that the high-level programme for Glasgow 850 in 2025 will be launched Autumn 2024, with high profile, city-led, events being publicised and community-led activities being added throughout the rest of 2024 and during 2025.

Get involved

At this early planning stage there are several ways to get involved.

  • Think about the different ways in which your organisation can support Glasgow 850
  • What meetings and forums can you discuss Glasgow 850 to raise awareness and generate ideas? How does your organisation link to Glasgow's past, present and future? Is there a story to tell?
  • Do you have existing plans that could be promoted as part of Glasgow 850?
  • Do you have access to, or opportunities to apply for, funding that could support specific Glasgow 850 activities?
  • Could your organisation collaborate with others in the city on a theme(s), shared story, activation or event?
  • You can also register to joing the mailing list so that you are kept upto date with information and opportunities as well as register your interest for volunteering.
  • You can also get in touch with the Glasgow 850 team with any questions or by emailing glasgow850@glasgow.gov.uk

 

Last modified on 20 June 2024

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