“I am really excited about Lincoln becoming a City of Welcome. It seems a long time ago that we had the first City of Sanctuary meeting with speakers from Sheffield, but all good things take time. Lincoln’s demographics have changed dramatically since I started working in the City 15 years ago and Lincoln becoming a City of Welcome, shows our commitment to becoming a more cohesive and inclusive City." Jeanne Bain Chief Exec developmentplus

The idea to create Lincoln as a City of Welcome was inspired by the success of other community based movements across the UK, in particular ‘the City of Sanctuary’ movement, whereby cities such as; Sheffield, Bradford and York (to name just a few) have worked in partnership with their local people, businesses and official organisations e.g. the local councils to make a public commitment and effort in putting their cities ‘on the map’ as places of sanctuary for people in need of safety.

However, Lincoln is different from other UK cities, it has fresh opportunities and a different set of circumstances thus it is important for Lincoln to determine and explore what it feels it needs as a city to put itself ‘on the map’.

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Lincoln as a city has seen rapid growth over the past decade and this has been economically positive for Lincoln. New business developments and investments have been made in the city and areas, e.g. the Brayford waterfront, have seen a whole new regeneration and face-lift as a result.

Lincoln’s growth has been accompanied by a change in the demographics of Lincoln itself. The international feel and changing make up of the city’s local communities are part and parcel of Lincoln’s economic development and growth. The growing diversity of Lincoln is something to be celebrated and nurtured otherwise Lincoln runs the risk of missing the potential for further growth, in terms of cultural enrichment and economic gains.

Just Lincolnshire working in partnership with Lincoln City Council is exploring how Lincoln has changed and how it will continue to do so - but importantly to open up a debate about how Lincoln can become a City of Welcome and put itself on the map as a great place to be, whether that’s to live, work or visit - because Lincoln has the potential if it wants to embrace it.