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What is a learning city or town?

A Learning City or Town is defined as a place which uses its resources to promote inclusive, lifelong learning in education, families, communities and the workplace. 

Learning Cities aim to create social cohesion, economic and cultural prosperity and sustainable development. Empowering individuals is central to the approach. Every Learning City is different and develops its own strategy, although evidence suggests strong governance is a defining feature of successful Learning Cities.

Swindon aims to be the first town in England to become part of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, affirming our strong commitment to lifelong learning.

Across the UK so far only Swansea and Bristol have committed to UNESCO’s global initiative on the development of Learning Cities, and are part of the large network of cities from around the world who work together to share ideas and solutions.

Join us as we start our journey to becoming a Learning Town, inspiring everyone in Swindon to enjoy learning.


Education transforms lives and is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development.

UNESCO believes that education is a human right for all throughout life and that access must be matched by quality. The Organization is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to cover all aspects of education. It has been entrusted to lead the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal 4. The roadmap to achieve this is the Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA).

Visit the Unesco website to find out more.