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2018 promises to be a very special year in St Helens…

For a start it’s the 150th anniversary of the formation of the borough of St Helens and the 70th anniversary of the towns twinning with the German city of Stuttgart.

2018 also sees the 70th anniversary of the NHS, and to cap it all it’s a decade ago since Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture.

150 years ago – on the 2nd February 1868, Queen Victoria granted the charter that incorporated the municipal borough of St Helens, bringing together the townships of Eccleston, Parr, Sutton and Windle.

Fast forward a 150 years, and St Helens while acknowledging its past, is looking to its future, with a thrilling year-long programme which celebrates the town’s culture, creativity and community.

It’s all about the three C’s

Over 12 memorable months, St Helens will see a variety of events and activities taking place.

From unforgettable cultural experiences such as ‘Helen’ exploring the role of women through history until modern day, or a spectacular light and projection extravaganza entitled We Are Still Here, to a fun packed and informative Heritage Weekend bringing, to life the experiences of the past 150 years.

With creative artistic projects such as Takeover Fest including pop-up art exhibitions across the borough, the launch of Bliss Park, an artwork and skate park commissioned and produced by young people, and In the Streets and programme of interactive music and performance based events.

To events that create a sense of community such as St Helens Day – a civic parade, led by the Mayor, to celebrate the people of the borough, or Armed Forces Day – a commemorative ceremony to take place in Victoria Park, and an International Food and Drink Festival to celebrate our twinning with Stuttgart and Chalon-su-Saone.

All together now

The St Helens 150 programme brings together organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The programme has been developed by The Heart of Glass, a collaborative arts organisation based in St Helens, and is supported by St Helens Council, together with other local arts and cultural partners including the World of Glass and The Citidal. Various artists, writers, performers and producers will be working together with the programme developers to create a year of events and artistic interventions right across St Helens.

As the emphasis of the programme is people and place driven, local organisations, associations and communities are encouraged to get involved. If you are hosting an event in St Helens in 2018 and would like to link to the borough’s 150th anniversary plans, you can find out more by emailing; sthelens150@sthelens.gov.uk