A PLAN to unite every village, town and city in the world called Richmond through a community website has been backed by local businessmen.

The Richmonds of the World initiative would link 50 or more locations from 11 countries under one organisation to promote tourism, business and education opportunities.

The idea is being supported by Richmond businessmen David Gibson, a marketing consultant, and Phil Upton, who runs Purple Creative Services, who have offered time and financial support to get the project off the ground.

They have already purchased the relevant web addresses, including richmondsoftheworld.com and richmondsoftheworld.


The pair are now looking for eight business sponsors to help set up a website, which would act as a hub to allow each Richmond to upload information, pictures and contact details.

Each sponsor would be asked to pledge £400 towards the £2,500 still required to build the website and would feature on the finished site.

The name of Richmond is found in Commonwealth countries around the world, including Australia, the Bahamas, Fiji, India and Canada, and is also a common name for towns in the US.

Although Richmond in North Yorkshire is recognised as being the original holder of the name, it is also acknowledged that most of the international versions take their name from Richmond upon Thames, in Surrey.

Mr Gibson said he and Mr Upton hope the website would be used to foster closer ties between the different towns and provide a boost for the local community.

He said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to about this has shown an interest and we hope that a lot of different people will get involved.

“It could be a great chance for the local schools to form links around the worlds and we think it could be good for sports teams – especially cricket and rugby, because most Richmonds are found in Commonwealth countries.

“I’ve been surprised at the number of people who have told me that they’ve gone out of their way by more than a day on holiday to visit somewhere purely because it’s called Richmond. Hopefully, building this website might make tourists stop and think about dropping in to see us.”

The idea has won the support of Richmond Mayor, Barry Heap, who mentioned the project at a meeting of the town council on Monday.

“It’s about promoting Richmond and bringing together that big international club of Richmonds for the same purpose,” he said. “Who knows what will happen, but at the very least it’s getting the great name of Richmond out there into the world.”

As well as sponsors, Mr Gibson and Mr Upton are asking for people who have visited other Richmonds in the world to send them any photographs that they may have, as a starting point for the website.

They are also interested to speak to anyone who may be visiting a Richmond in future.

For more information, or to offer sponsorship, call David Gibson on 01748-824246 or Phil Upton on 01748-821888.