About Us

The Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation has been established as a company limited by guarantee and was granted Charitable status in August 2016. Between now and 2020 it will seek to attract funds, sponsorship and voluntary support to assist in the town’s centenary celebrations and to create a legacy for the benefit of garden citizens into its second century.

If the celebrations are to be a success, then they must be locally rooted, springing from the initiatives of community organisations, businesses, schools, places of learning, local authorities and, of course, the residents themselves. The Foundation will work actively with all these groups, offering coordination and support in the run up to 2020.

Our Vision

To celebrate the relevance of Ebenezer Howard’s ethos for healthy living as epitomised by Welwyn Garden City a hundred  years ago, to today’s debates about housing, sustainable communities, health and wellbeing.

To promote Welwyn Garden City as a destination to live, work, and play.

To gain town-wide appreciation and pride in Welwyn Garden City, with associated involvement of schools and other stakeholders to ensure an ongoing legacy.

To provide promotional and economic opportunities which will benefit Welwyn Garden City and Hertfordshire businesses.

We aim to...

Advance the education of the public in subjects relating to the establishment and conservation of Welwyn Garden City and to promote study and research into its history;

Seek improved conservation and enhancement of Welwyn Garden City’s trees, landscapes, buildings and natural beauty.

To promote the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure-time activities for the benefit of all inhabitants of Welwyn Garden City and the surrounding area.

For the Centenary to be a success, it must have an impact in the years leading up to 2020, in that year and over the longer term. voluntary effort, money and ‘in kind’ resources will be needed. Some initiatives can be achieved at nil cost if existing programmes can be adapted. The many societies and voluntary organisations that the town boasts will want to mark the celebrations in their own way and the Foundation will be there to assist.

However, most initiatives will have a cost, large or small. Some will have on-going revenue costs and it is vital that long-term costs are factored into budgeting. A legacy extending into the second century of the garden city is an ambition which can only be realised if projects are underwritten in this way.

Experience from elsewhere also points to the great value of having volunteers widely involved (the Gamesmakers made a huge contribution to the success of the Olympic Games for example and allowed many people to share closely in the excitement of the occasion). Volunteering will give both older and particularly younger people the opportunity to ‘be part of it’ which will make the celebrations even more meaningful, even more successful, even more lasting.

The garden city may be much younger than many towns and cities, but it has a remarkable history.

Sir Ebenezer Howard OBE, the English founder of the garden city movement, is known for his publication To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, the description of a utopian city in which people live harmoniously together with nature.
Sir Ebenezer Howard OBE

There is real pride and much affection for the garden city among its residents who recognise the town as a great place to live, to work, to raise a family. As it approaches its 100th anniversary, it’s time to celebrate! It was with this in mind that the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) called a meeting of interested groups and societies in 2014 to discuss how best to take this forward. As a result, Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation has been established to help devise and coordinate a programme of events and volunteers to ensure that this striking achievement is commemorated. We want to bring together residents and businesses, old and new, past and present, to play a part in making Welwyn Garden City 2020 a success. So, get in touch and get involved!

The Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation is pleased that the Marquess of Salisbury has enthusiastically agreed to become our Patron. The Foundation is also supported by the Lady Margaret Paterson Osborn Trust.