A year of celebratory events lies ahead in Newcastle-under-Lyme as the borough marks its 850th anniversary.
Local residents’ achievements will be recognised in a “Newcastle Heroes” awards ceremony at the Mayor’s Ball.
Lime trees will be planted as part of a legacy programme and an “Aspiration Keele” project will be rolled out to encourage studying at the University.
Ceremonial mugs will be handed out to primary school pupils, film shows and talks will be staged and a medieval re-enactment weekend will take place in June.
Newcastle-under-Lyme was incorporated as a borough 850 years ago by Royal Charter and the Borough Council has set aside £25,000 to showcase the history and culture of the town.
Events, activities – including a firework show – and various projects are intended to strengthen communities and leave a legacy.
Businesses can get involved by taking advantage of sponsorship packages on offer.
One of the aims of the year-long celebration is to highlight famous and influential residents of the town past and present with talks, exhibitions, and other events.
Newcastle-born figures being celebrated include Vera Brittain, nurse and pacifist author of Testament of Youth, Philip Astley, father of the modern circus and Fanny Deakin, activist politician.
Monthly themes throughout the year will feature literature, sports, and the borough’s military connections.
A new history of the town will be published and a blue plaque scheme will showcase the contributions of residents over the years.