Year-long programme to mark 20 years of the Scottish Parliament


A year-long programme to mark 20 years since the creation of the Scottish Parliament has been announced today.

Designed to showcase the positive impact the Scottish Parliament has had on the lives of those living in Scotland over the last two decades, the programme will include the launch of a new public exhibition telling the story of the Parliament; a series of family days; and a national photography competition to find the best images illustrating Holyrood’s 20-year history.

The highlight of the programme will be an event in the Debating Chamber on Saturday 29 June, marking almost 20 years to the day since the Parliament officially assumed its legal powers. As well as the Chamber event, the Parliament will later that day open its doors to the people of Scotland for an afternoon of celebration and commemoration.

The Parliament is also starting a nationwide search for the babies that were born on 1 July 1999 to invite them to take part in the celebration on Saturday 29 June. The young people were central to the Parliament’s 10th anniversary in 2009 and we are asking them to contact us.

Details of the full programme will be released throughout the year with many opportunities for people across Scotland to be involved.

Announcing the programme today the Presiding Officer, the Rt. Hon. Ken Macintosh MSP, said:

“This 20th anniversary year is an ideal opportunity to reflect on how far we have come over the last two decades and to remind everyone of the positive impact the Scottish Parliament has had on peoples’ lives. 

“In a time of exasperation with politics and politicians our programme has been designed to reinvigorate interest in Scottish politics and remind people that this is a Parliament for the whole of Scotland based on the values of openness and equality.

“The Parliament is also extremely keen to hear from the 163 young people in Scotland that share our birthday. We would like them to play a part in our year long programme of commemoration. So, this is an appeal to those “1 July babies” to come forward so we can celebrate together.”

To mark the anniversary, the Parliament has today released a series of images from its 20-year history.


Further information on each of the projects and how members of the public can participate will be announced during the course of 2019. Please follow our social media channels for up to date information.

Any young people who were born on 1 July 1999 in Scotland should contact [email protected].

Key dates:

  • 6 May 1999 – Date of first elections to the Scottish Parliament
  • 6 May 1999 – First Member declared elected: Tom McCabe, at 23.16
  • 12 May 1999 – First sitting of the Scottish Parliament
  • 1 July 1999 – Official Opening of the Scottish Parliament
  • 31 August 1999 – First Emergency Bill/Executive Bill introduced: by Jim Wallace SP Bill  1 Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill [as introduced] Session 1 (1999)
  • 8 September 1999 – First Emergency Bill/Executive Bill passed: introduced by Jim Wallace SP Bill 1 Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill [as passed] Session 1 (1999)  
  • 13 January 2000 – First First Minister’s question time: First question S1F-1 in the name of Alex Salmond SP OR 13 January 2000
  • 27 October 1999 – First Time for Reflection: Reverend Dr Graham K Blount, Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) SP OR 27 October 1999



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