Plymouth University will host Plymouth Respect Festival
PLYMOUTH University has agreed to host next year's Respect Festival, which celebrates the diversity of the city's community.
The Plymouth Respect Festival, organised by the Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council was launched 14 years ago and highlights the different nationalities and cultures which make up the city.
The two organisations are now working in partnership to examine how it can be expanded and enhanced in the coming years.
Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University, said: "We are delighted to host the Plymouth Respect Festival and further develop its strong reputation and impact.
"Our staff and students make a hugely positive contribution to the cultural diversity of Plymouth, and a key opportunity here is to reach out and sustain mutual respect throughout our community.
"We look forward to continuing our work with the Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council."
Ann Wilkinson, Co-director of the Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council added: "We have worked for many years to ensure the Plymouth Respect Festival has become an important event in the city's calendar for highlighting diversity and celebrating differences.
"The new collaboration with Plymouth University will open up a range of innovative developments, which will undoubtedly breathe new life into a festival which Plymouth has embraced wholeheartedly over many years.
"The festival has been a tremendous force in the city and beyond, and as we enter this new era, we hope more partner agencies and people will join us and be inspired for the future."
In previous years, the festival has included parades in the city centre, live music, dancing and theatrical events, play activities, world food, information stands and many showcased events.
The plan aims to ensure the festival continues at suitable venues on the university campus and with a series of complementary events during the year.
Discussions over the precise programme are ongoing, but the organisations say they hope students from the university will in future play a larger part in the festival and that it would include related projects featuring the city's primary and secondary schools.
The university's public arts programme, Peninsula Arts, will also offer complementary scheduling of film and performance.