It was on 25 March 1947 that Harlow was first designated a new town, so 2017 marks Harlow’s 70th birthday. 

“We want ‘Harlow is 70’ to be a celebration of Harlow, its people and its places – and for everyone to take pride in their town. Whether it’s the town’s arts, culture, architecture, community spirit, diversity or thriving business community, we have so much to celebrate in Harlow”, said the Leader of Harlow Council Jon Clempner. 



“It is really important to us that people get involved and are part of the celebrations. We want to work with businesses and local groups to maximise this occasion for Harlow. We are all immensely proud of our town, and this is our year to start shouting about what a great place Harlow is. “Meetings have been held with community and local business representatives with further meetings throughout 2017 to co-ordinate the official ‘Harlow is 70’ celebrations. So far over 100 people or organisations have approached the Council expressing interest in running events or projects, getting involved or supporting the celebrations in some way. The Council has allocated £20,000 to help support local events and projects.” The Council will be giving its own events like the annual Fireworks night a 70th theme. It is also considering organising a town parade in the summer followed by a celebration in the Town Park.



Harlow the pioneering town 

“In 1947 when Harlow first became a new town, people were given the opportunity to live and work in a bright, vibrant and welcoming place. ‘Harlow is 70’ will celebrate the past but also look ahead to the next 70 years, where history will continue to be made and new opportunities for people created,” Councillor Clempner added. 


“With the progress of Harlow Enterprise Zone, plans for Public Health England’s world class science hub, Garden Town designation, road and infrastructure improvements, including a new M11 motorway junction, there are so many opportunities to work together and create that bright future. “Harlow is a town of many firsts, from Sculpture Town to the birthplace of fibre optic technology, and this pioneering spirit will continue in the next 70 years.” 


Did you know? 

In its 70-year history Harlow has seen some important firsts, here are a few:


  • In 1951, ‘The Lawn’, designed by the town’s master planner Sir Frederick Gibberd, was the first residential housing block of its kind in the UK.



  • In 1966 fibre optic communications, which paved the way for modern technology like broadband Internet, were invented by Sir Charles Kao and George Hockham on the former Nortel site on London Road. That site is now the home of Harlow Enterprise Zone the place where tomorrow’s ideas could be invented which will change people’s lives in the future. 


  • In 2010 Harlow became the first Sculpture Town in the UK and the World with its unique public collection of 79 sculptures including works by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Frink and Barbara Hepworth. 


The official symbol of Harlow is 70 


The Harlow 70th logo was a joint collaboration between Harlow College graphic design student Bradley Newson and graphic design tutor Mustafa Sidiki. Both were supported by local graphic design agencies Blue Pig Creative ( and Hot Mash Creative ( who both gave their time and expertise for free. The logo is being displayed on various buildings around the town and appearing on promotional materials. The variety of colours in the logo represents the celebration’s strapline – history, community and diversity. The green in the 70 is the town’s green open spaces. 


The logo is free for any business to use. To request a copy please drop an e-mail to You can stay up to date on the celebrations here: 

FB – @Harlowis70 

TW – @Harlowis70 


If your business would like to get involved or find out more about sponsorship opportunities or if you have an idea about how Harlow can celebrate its 70th, contact Jane Greer, Head of Community Wellbeing at Harlow Council at<> or telephone 01279 446406.