The City of Lowell's Mayor Sokhary Chau and City Manager Thomas A. Golden, Jr., in conjunction with Chancellor Julie Chen at UMass Lowell, Lowell Mosaic, the Lowell Pan and the Boott Cotton MIlls Museum, hosted a delegation from the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday, March 27, and Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
The delegation included UK government officials, think tank directors, and leaders of UK-based nonprofits with a particular interest in community, social capital, and urban regeneration-related issues. Members of the Local Trust -- a philanthropic trust mandated to inform policy makers, funding bodies, and practitioners on economic development in UK communities -- held a series of workshops entitled, "Levelling Up Our Communities: US-UK Fact Finding Mission," and included partners from the British Consulate in Boston, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. Members of the delegation also participated in presentations at UMass Lowell, the Lowell Plan, and the Boott Cotton Mills Museum.
The workshops and tour of Lowell were designed to showcase economic and neighborhood regeneration and to discuss ways in which cities like Lowell have responded to postindustrial decline by building thriving, prosperous, and cohesive communities. The delegation was also interested in the Mayoral Model in Lowell and how it contributes to focus and leadership to the economic and neighborhood agenda.
Transportation was provided by George Anastas and Dave Bradley at the Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA). The group enjoyed a dinner at Scott and Kathy Plath's Moonstones Restaurant.
According to City Manager Golden, "Visiting with the folks from the UK delegation really highlighted the way the city of Lowell has developed in recent years. We have been fortunate to have strong local partners such as Lowell National Park, UML, Mosaic Lowell, and the Lowell Plan. Our administrative team had the opportunity to share the thinking behind urban regeneration, as well as discuss the vision for moving urban areas like Lowell forward in the future."
Mayor Chau said, "I was honored to host the UK delegation and proud that Lowell can offer insight to other cities to learn from us. I think it's important that we share knowledge and learn from one another how to improve our communities and economy. That's why it is significant to travel to other locations to build working relationships and partnerships."
"I'm proud of the strong relationships so many of Lowell's anchor institutions across industry, government, healthcare and education have created and strengthened in recent years," said Chancellor Chen. "It was an honor to welcome the delegation to discuss the collective economic development efforts of the Lowell community to elevate this city."