Become a Cittaslow town
If you have a resident population of fewer than 50,000 you are eligible to join Cittaslow. Please get in touch and let’s start talking!
Cittaslow UK will help you along the road to membership in every way we can, offering advice and guidance and sharing examples of how other towns have gone about joining the movement. Every town has different strengths and priorities and does things in different ways. Those differences are one of the strengths of Cittaslow.
How it works
Towns must formally apply to join the Cittaslow network. Applications from UK towns are managed by Cittaslow UK. The applications must be submitted by a recognised agency in each town, such as the local council or a well-established community or business group.
The process of joining Cittaslow is not arduous; we’d like to think it’s satisfying and rewarding for everyone who participates in the process. It primarily involves setting up a local steering group to look at various aspects of your town. The steering group then completes a fairly detailed questionnaire that forms your own self-assessment of your town’s current position against 72 goals that have been developed by Cittaslow International. These goals create a common framework for enhancing quality of life across all Cittaslow towns.
The goals are grouped under seven different headings that look at different aspects of a town – and they are weighted according to their comparative importance. Applicant towns give themselves a score against each of these goals, allocating a high score against goals that they are already actively and successfully addressing; a medium score against goals where they have identified relevant issues and are either planning or have just started activities to address them; and a low score where they are not progressing any actions relating to a specific goal.
Once a town feels it has achieved an overall score of at least 50% against the 72 different goals, it invites independent external assessors from Cittaslow UK to visit the town and discuss and agree each score. If the assessors agree that the town has achieved a score of at least 50%, they recommend to Cittaslow International that the town be accepted into membership of the movement. The membership application process normally takes 8 to 12 months from initial enquiry to final accreditation as a Cittaslow town.
Most towns score between 50 – 60% overall against the goals when they first join Cittaslow UK. No town will ever score 100% as improvements can always be made. However, all towns commit to actively seeking to improve their score through continued self-assessment and monitoring their performance against the various goals.
The 72 individual Cittaslow goals outlined can be viewed here. There are also more detailed notes for each goal if you decide to apply. The goals reflect the present challenges in towns. They can appear daunting at first, but most UK towns are already addressing many of them through various statutory bodies like local government. Don’t worry, no town is expected to actively address every single goal. Each town will decide its own priorities and identify those goals that are most important to its residents and visitors.
Each town pays a one-off accreditation fee of £600 on becoming a member of Cittaslow.
This is payable to Cittaslow UK CIC (Community Interest Company) and covers some of the costs incurred in the accreditation process by other Cittaslow UK towns. Any expenses, such as travel and accommodation, incurred during the accreditation process are covered at the time by the aspirant town directly to the Cittaslow UK representative involved.
Each town pays an annual membership fee, which is based on its size. The fees are set by Cittaslow International and are currently as follows.
Towns with less than 1,000 residents: £600.00
Towns with 1 – 5,000 residents: £750.00
Towns with 5 – 15,000 residents: £1,500.00
Towns with 15 – 30,000 residents: £2,500.00
Towns with more than 30,000 residents: £3,500.00
Cittaslow UK sends invoices for the annual membership fees to each Cittaslow member town in June. Cittaslow UK then forwards these fees on to Cittaslow International, paying them the same amount in Euros. This arrangement is called ‘Pounds for Euros’. Cittaslow UK towns pay membership in pounds sterling, eg £2,500, and then Cittaslow UK pays Cittaslow International 2,500 Euros, using the difference to cover UK expenses and the costs of maintaining and developing the UK network.
Any new member joining the UK network is invoiced when they join Cittaslow UK CIC for the balance of the current membership year, ie a town joining in October would pay six months membership for October – March.
For initial enquiries about membership, please email the Cittaslow UK secretariat, Sue Lake in Aylsham, firstname.lastname@example.org
Any of the people below will be pleased to discuss membership with other towns that are interested in joining the network.
Cittaslow UK board of directors
Cittaslow UK CIC
Mold Town Council