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Boston accepted into Hanseatic League

It's taken the best part of 700 years, but Boston is again associated with the Hanseatic League.

Membership was approved at the weekend by the annual meeting of the Hanseatic members at Viljandi in Estonia.

Boston was a warehousing site and trading partner with Hanseatic League countries in medieval times and owed much of its early prosperity to the trade it enjoyed from across the North Sea.

It is hoped the town's membership will lead to economic benefits and a tourism boost.

Boston joins 183 towns and cities including King's Lynn, Kingston upon Hull, Aberdeen and other members from Belarus, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden in the Die Hanse, the modern-day Hanseatic League.

King's Lynn has been a member since 2005 and has benefited, particularly in promotion of arts, culture and heritage, positively impacting on tourism and the visitor economy. Last month it held a major Hanse festival over two days featuring  the arrival of the historic Hanse ship Kamper Kogge to the town's quayside, fireworks display, a colourful medieval market and a full roster of bands playing jazz, folk and classical music. 

King's Lynn has membership of a Business Hanse and Boston could develop links for local businesses to develop. It is hoped that partners and stakeholders already identified in Boston could take this project forward. There was no cost for joining the Hanse. Business sub-group membership is a one-off joining fee of £200 and then annual subscription of £150.

Boston Borough Council's leisure services portfolio holder, Cllr Claire Rylott, said: "It is excellent news that Boston has been successful in its application to join the league. I am hopeful that there will be real opportunities for tourism. In terms of heritage and history, Boston has a lot to offer, and our membership will help get the message out to a wider audience."

The Boston Hanse project is a sub group of the Boston History Project. Cllr Nick Daubney, leader of the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk is the modern Hanseatic League's English commissioner and an advocate of the business benefits of league membership.

Hansa Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
An artist's impression of how the Boston Hanseatic Steelyard (Stylyard) may have looked. A Steelyard was a Hanseatic trading base. The vessel in the foreground is a Hansa Cog

Steelyard site Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
This is the area today in South End where the Hanseatic Steelyard in Boston was believed to have been sited. The warehouses may have occupied the site where the terrace of houses now stand