Plymouth people are backing City of Culture 2017 bid
THE people of Plymouth are backing the UK City of Culture bid – and have their own ideas about what they want to see.
As revealed in The Herald last month, the city is aiming for the prestigious 2017 title and is preparing to submit a provisional bid by April 30.
Victory could mean bringing glitzy events such as the Brit Awards, Turner Prize and BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards to the city as well as creating a dazzling calendar of other activities.
And the tourism boost could see millions of pounds pumped into the local economy.
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The Herald spoke to Plymouth residents to see what they made of the push to become UK City of Culture 2017 and everyone we spoke to backed the bid.
Here's what they said
Sarah Shortland, 37, from Mount Gould and Maddison Floyd, 3, from Southway
Sarah said: "It would be good for Plymouth – I visited Liverpool after they won European Capital of Culture and they've changed lots there.
"One of the shopping centres now has a big roof terrace with lots of things for the kids to do as well as music and performances.
"It was really good for them.
"There could be more music in Plymouth and more things for the children."
Noelle Matthams, 23, studies fashion at Plymouth College of Art
She said: "It would be good for Plymouth, it would make it more interesting.
"If there were more arts here young people could get more involved with it.
"I'm not that academic so it would help people like me realise there are other opportunities out there."
Benjamin Cole, 23, who also studies fashion at Plymouth College of Art
He said: "It's a good idea not just for Plymouth but the South West generally.
"It's a big student place so it will be good for them.
"People often travel to London or Bristol for music or events so it will help to close that gap.
"Plymouth is a good place it just needs better things to do."
Lydia James, 18, and Laura Holmes, 19, both study geography at Plymouth University
Lydia said: "Because its a seaside town the bid would help tourism. With students going home over summer, it would be good to have something to attract more people here in those months."
Phil Piper, 25 and Alex craven, 21, both work at Fulfords estate agents
Alex said: "I'm not an art buff but it would be good to get more people here.
"Hopefully it would open it up to more people and bring more music to the city."
Lauren Lovegrove, 20, Jodie Pierre, 23, Amber Adlam Saunders, 18 and Paige Smith, 19, all study fashion at Plymouth College of Art
Jodie said: "I'd heard about the bid. It would be a good idea."
Paige added: "It would also be good to have travelling exhibitions here too.
"The main things we would want to see is more music and fashion I think.
"We could do with more museums here."
HERALD EDITOR IAN WOOD - WHY I BACK THE BID
IT'S simple – Plymouth's bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2017 represents ambition and it is through ambition that this city will create a prosperous future.
Yes, this bid is about staging a fantastic year of creative excellence for the people of Plymouth and showcasing this great city to the rest of the country. But it is just as much about generating economic activity and jobs. You only have to look at those cities which have had the vision to pitch for similar events in the past – Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol and, of course, this year's City of Culture, Derry/Londonderry – to see the huge benefits they gained whether they succeeded or not.
City of Culture provides an opportunity for people from all walks of life in Plymouth to come together with a common purpose. It also provides a major landmark on the road to the Mayflower 2020 celebrations when the eyes of the world will turn to this city.
Plymouth has a rich and proud history and is set in a spectacular part of the country, but what really makes us a stand-out candidate for the 2017 bid is our burgeoning creative spirit. The fact is this city is already the region's premier cultural hub – whether through the activities of the many community groups, the lively student populations centred around our colleges and universities, through our devotion to sport and through the vibrant landmark institutions like the Theatre Royal and The Pavilions. A successful bid will allow us to build on this and claim our place on the national and international stage.
I'm backing the bid to become the UK City of Culture 2017 because it will allow us to tell others what a great place this is to live, to have fun, to be creative and to do business.
PLYMOUTH'S NEW TOURISM CHIEF HAILS THE CITY'S ASSETS
A NEW chief executive has been appointed to represent Plymouth's £250million-a-year tourism and visitor industry.
Amanda Lumley will run Destination Plymouth, which oversees the city's tourism trade, writes Keith Rossiter.
She has worked at attractions such as Chester Zoo and Leeds Castle. She has managed shopping centres and department stores and regional tourism and business partnerships including Visit Essex, Visit Kent, and Kent County Council, where she delivered the Tour de France Stage 1 in 2007.
"I am delighted to be part of a city that is beginning to really go places," Mrs Lumley said.
"Plymouth has assets most cities can only dream of – a stunning waterfront, a city surrounded by outstanding countryside; it's fast becoming a foodie heaven and is the cultural arts and entertainment capital for the region.
"There are exciting plans in the pipeline and Plymouth has already shown the scale of its ambition by bidding to become the City of Culture 2017."
More than 30,000 jobs in the city rely on tourism and visitors. It is estimated that 3.5million day visitors and 2.4 million staying visitors come to Plymouth every year.
Council leader Tudor Evans said: "We want someone who has the experience to ensure visions and goals become guests to our hotels, audiences to our theatre and attractions, diners to our incredible restaurants, walkers and cyclists to our waterfront and shoppers to our city centre and Barbican."
Mrs Lumley will be responsible for marketing and digital strategy, events development, signage, major development projects, public space and developing transport links.
Destination Plymouth was set up in 2010 to co-ordinate the tourism and visitor offer and develop a stronger image for the city.
Duncan Currall, chairman of Destination Plymouth, said: "With more than 1,000 stakeholders involved in this sector, Amanda is going to be a crucial listener as well as a strategic thinker.