Partners set sail with Mayflower 400 vision
Members of Mayflower 400, a partnership of locations from across the UK, US and Holland linked by one of the most influential sea voyages in history, will formally launch the Mayflower 400 Compact on Thursday 16 July in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The launch will be attended by over 80 UK leaders, Chief Executives and Members of Parliament all backing the ambitious 2020 vision to mark the 400th anniversary of an event, celebrated by many in the US as the beginning of a national legacy, and in the UK as the beginning of one of the most enduring alliances the world has ever known.
The Mayflower 400 vision and goals is a programme of events on a transformational scale that is being led by Plymouth UK and Plymouth Massachusetts and is a platform for a national celebration of the remarkable relationship between the UK and US, which began with the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620. It will once again place them, their heritage and its contribution to world history, on the global map.
The day will begin in Retford, Nottinghamshire, with a tourism conference followed by the Mayflower 400 partner’s quarterly meeting, the day’s events are kindly hosted by Bassetlaw District Council. Guest speakers include James Berresford, Chief Executive of Visit England who will speak to the Mayflower 400 members about maximising tourism opportunities.
The afternoon meeting will cover both individual and joint Destination Frameworks as the group continue to discuss the commemorations, celebrations and events covering the next five years together with plans for lasting legacies. The afternoon will then conclude with a tour of the Mayflower Trail locally.
The evening dinner and presentation will be held at and hosted by Gainsborough Old Hall and will be attended by over 80 civic and tourism leaders from across the UK and special guests from the US the Brewster family, direct descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Each destination partner will be presented with a modern day ‘Mayflower Compact’ a signed agreement to work together to both celebrate and commemorate the 400th anniversary in 2020 and beyond. The Brewster family will be accepting the signed Mayflower Compact on behalf of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Neil Taylor, Chief Executive of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “We are honoured that North Nottinghamshire has been chosen as the location for a meeting of so many partners with links to the Mayflower journey. We look forward to showing our colleagues the historical sites such as Scrooby and Babworth that are integral to the Mayflower Story.”
Jennifer Spencer, Chief Executive of Experience Nottinghamshire, said: “The Mayflower 400 project presents a significant opportunity for Nottinghamshire in terms of attracting visitors from around the UK and the US when the anniversary celebrations take place in 2020. It’s great that we’re thinking this far ahead on the project, with so many partners showing their support. It puts us in a strong position to ensure the project is a success in attracting new visitors to the county in 2020.”
Mayflower 400 was officially launched in November 2014 when an ‘Illuminate’ event took place in both Plymouth, UK and Plymouth, Massachusetts to signify the formal countdown to the 400th anniversary and to commemorate the ‘special relationship’ between America and England.
Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400 US said: ‘The special relationship between America and England becomes more tangible as we share this 400th anniversary. Not only do we commemorate our shared history, be we have an opportunity to plan future collaborations and leave meaningful legacies.’
Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair of Mayflower 400 said: “2020 will be a landmark year. It marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, arguably the most influential single voyage in the history of the world. The ship quite literally carried with it the seed of the American nation. The spirit of that voyage and the beliefs that motivated it led to the creation of the most powerful nation on earth.
Mayflower 400 is a key milestone and we are working closely together to make it a truly memorable occasion of international significance to both sides of the Atlantic.”