'Why I'm backing Plymouth's City of Culture bid' - Lesley Shorrocks
Plymouth is bidding to be named UK City of Culture 2017. We are asking the people of the city to speak up to support the move. Today Lesley Shorrocks, chair of the Plymouth Federation of Small Businesses, lends her support to the campaign.
In backing the bid for the City of Culture, the really important thing for me is that we recognise just how wide the meaning of the word culture is and should be.
We're not just talking about how many arts facilities we have in the city or how many events we could go to, we need to be encouraging everyone to think about the things they enjoy doing, the hundreds of leisure activities which improve and enrich our lives.
Experiencing the city's cultural offering could mean enjoying a great meal in a restaurant, spending spare time messing about on the water in a dinghy, exploring the hidden gems on the Barbican, rambling through Central Park or playing an instrument in a band.
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I think the bid will encourage us all to make the most of the skills and talents of people too – just look at the kind of successful events the community has organised in the past, like the huge outdoor production Music of the Night.
Winning the bid would help us encourage more people to participate in things which relax, energise and develop us.
It would help enthuse children and young people to participate in different activities, and it would be great if it made lots of activities accessible to people who haven't yet had the chance to get involved.