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OLDHAM LAUNCHES NEW 'SYMBOL OF UNITY'

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Leading Oldham figures headed by mayor Christine Wheeler will join forces today to launch a new symbol of unity and...
Leading Oldham figures headed by mayor Christine Wheeler will join forces today to launch a new symbol of unity and togetherness for the borough.

The symbolism - 'Oldham, together the outlook's bright' - has been adopted as a unifying, forward looking emblem for organisations and businesses to sign up to following the negative publicity about the town last year. It can be viewed on the council's homepage.

Two Oldham schools - Summervale Primary and Roundthorn Primary - will also take part in a symbolic seven-a-side mini football match to formally launch the new symbol. The launch comes at a time when Oldham's organisations are considering their the response to the Independent Review Report findingsinto last year's disturbances. The initial response from Oldham is due with the government by the end of February.

The council's executive member for culture, leisure and tourism Chris Hilyer and Oldham chamber chief executive Ed Stacey have been leading a group of organisations in the town, including the two colleges, the police, businesses and the local media, to come up with the emblem of unity.

'It is meant to convey who we really are in Oldham. We come from many different origins but together we form a complex, diverse and unified community. The symbol also conveys another very important message. It is that Oldham very much chooses now to look forward, not back, and inspite of the events of 2001 we firmly believe that the outlook for the Borough is a bright, positive one.'

Cllr Wheeler, who wrote to hundreds of organisations at the end of last year inviting them to sign up to the new symbol, said their response has been very positive.

'About 40 have so far said they will use the new symbol on their stationery and advertising and we expect many more to respond in a similar way in the coming weeks. People are saying what a good thing this is and that it's time we took a stance against all the negative images of recent months,' said Ms Wheeler.

Ed Stacey said the launch is part of an initial£24,000 campaign to introduce the new symbol. 'People will very quickly become aware of it, first through outdoor poster sites on the A62 into the town centre and the local press. The symbol will also appear on things like car stickers, carrier bags, lapel badges and key rings and organisations across the borough will be encouraged to display posters depicting the symbol,' he said.

Websites and other media will also carry the new symbol. Ed Stacey said: 'A positive, feel good image is absolutely vital for Oldham's future prosperity and well being, particularly for inward investment. This symbol is part of the process to send a positive message to those thinking of doing business with us.'

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