A Cumbrian town could become the UK's latest to adopt a scheme which helps small communities retain their identity in the face of globalisation.
Membership would promote local trade. Photo by Jim Ingrams
Cockermouth is preparing a bid for membership of Cittaslow, an Italian term that translates as "slow city".
The movement aims to promote local goods and enhance uniqueness, particularly in heritage and culture.
Cittaslow, open to towns with under 50,000 residents, was first adopted in the UK by Ludlow in Shropshire.
Cockermouth Partnership, working with Allerdale Borough Council, is formally preparing a bid for inclusion in 2007.
Sam Standage, partnership chairman and the town's mayor, said: "Securing Cittaslow accreditation will provide an independent endorsement of the quality of our excellent local produce.
"It will also highlight our outstanding environmental quality."
All towns that apply to join the network are rigorously assessed against over 60 different criteria, such as environmental protection, protection of local traditions and support for local food producers.