Plymouth UK to meet with Massachusetts Senators to discuss Mayflower 400

Plans for the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower are underway as representatives from the Plymouth UK Mayflower 400 Leadership Group meet with key US Senators.

Plymouth has been nationally recognised by the UK Government as the UK lead city for the celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America. Following the success of the ‘Illuminate’ event held in Plymouth last November, and to strengthen the relationship with the US on behalf of all the partners.

Business and civic leaders from the city will be visiting Boston, Plymouth, Massachusetts and Washington D.C to discuss joint plans for celebrations that will boost tourism and the local economy as well as developing cultural and education partnerships.

Councillor Peter Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, Amanda Lumley, Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth, Anthony Payne, Plymouth City Council’s Director for Place, Dom Jinks, Executive Director for Plymouth Culture and Phil Davies, Chief Executive of Plymouth City College will meet partners from Plymouth 400, senior officials from Massachusetts State and Legislators in Washington D.C.

Councillor Smith said: “This visit is vital in our progress of developing our joint, international plans for the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. Meeting with officials in the US will help to raise the profile of our history and maximise on the joint opportunities available to us. We estimate that the Mayflower 400 programme will bring over £256 million economic impact and provide in excess of 5406 jobs up to and beyond 2020 in Plymouth alone.”

The two Plymouth’s will share their combined visions to develop an internationally important programme of commemoration and celebration events, which will be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the two cities. There will also be a conference for the wider “Plymouth Colony’ which stretches from Boston down to Cape Cod to share the developing plans which will include those of the wider UK partners as well.

The visit will include both Plymouth’s officially announcing their partnership and launching a tourism campaign that promotes the heritage and history of the Mayflower, providing national and international recognition and commemorating the legacy this has left.

Amanda Lumley, Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth, said: “With only five years to go until 2020 we need to start moving forward with our overall plans, not only for 2020 itself but the yearly build-up to the 400th anniversary. We have had great support so far from Visit England and Visit Britain and we will now meet with key contacts and Brand USA to develop our plans for Plymouth, the South West and the UK partners further. The Illuminate event that took place last year was a great example of how Plymouth UK and Plymouth Massachusetts work together but we can’t rest on our laurels if we are to give this moment in history the visibility it deserves.”

Dom Jinks, Executive Director of Plymouth Culture, said: “This delegation to Massachusetts is an opportunity to further develop relationships and the programme for Mayflower 400. We are meeting several cultural organisations to share programme ideas to hopefully create something very special for 2020. These projects have the potential to create stunning events for the people of Plymouth that will leave a legacy and significantly develop the visitor economy of the city.”

Plymouth is already working with its wider ‘Mayflower compact’ partners across the UK and Holland and starting to develop plans and ideas with them for national programmes and activities.

– The Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Plymouth to America on the Mayflower, a three-masted ship, on the 16 September 1620, and arrived 66 days later in Cape Cod on the US East Coast on 21 November 1620 before finally landing in the colony of Plimoth in the state of Massachusetts on 21 December 1620. It is estimated that over 16 million Americans today are directly descended from those on the ship.

– Plymouth’s contemporary Mayflower compact was signed by a number of partners from the Mayflower trail on the anniversary of the original signing 394 years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed in Massachusetts in 1620.

It symbolises the coming together of all the cities, towns and communities on the Mayflower trail that represent the original Pilgrims and this globally significant journey. By signing this compact the cities commit to each other to work collaboratively as we move towards 2020 – the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.

Mayflower Trail Partners:
Scrooby & Babworth, Austerfield & Doncaster, Gainsborough, Boston, Immingham, Rotherhithe, Harwich, Leiden, Leigh-on-Sea, Southampton, Dartmouth, Plymouth UK
Plymouth Mass.