photo credit © Crown Copyright HES

New Lanark 2021: A Living Legacy

April 27, 2021 Published by Beth Thomas

From Robert Owen to World Heritage and Beyond

A celebration of the legacies of social reform, heritage-led regeneration and World Heritage.

Anniversary Conference – Call for Papers

During 2021, New Lanark World Heritage Site will mark three important milestones:

  • The 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Owen, the site’s most famous advocate;
  • The 20th anniversary of UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription,
  • The completion of the restoration of the former millworkers’ housing in the village.

In celebration, New Lanark Trust will host a 3 day, interdisciplinary conference. This conference will explore the intertwined themes of Robert Owen’s extensive legacy, how this tangible and intangible legacy has been preserved, and how Owen’s influence, shaping other places, helped justify New Lanark’s ‘Outstanding Universal Value’. New Lanark was recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2001 along with two properties in England that developed communities around factories: Derwent Valley Mills and Saltaire.

New Lanark

Running from 12-14 October 2021, the conference will reflect on the relevance of these topics today, exploring how sites address UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals, the value of culture and heritage to our wellbeing, industrial democracy, workers’ rights and co-operation. Also being explored and celebrated will be the cross sector partnerships which have enabled the site to develop, and in particular the hundreds of people who have supported its regeneration.

The conference call for papers can be found here and all enquiries should be addressed to Jane Masters, Head of Heritage & Development at

Tickets and conference programme will be launched throughout May