'Why I'm backing Plymouth's City of Culture bid' - Peter Jones
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 Plymouth Argyle director Peter Jones lends his support to the campaign.
I grew up in Plymouth; my parents and grandparents instilled in me a great pride in the city. And my early adoption of Argyle as "my team" helped that along.
However, when I got to my late teens I had a strong sense that the place was always destined to be a backwater – and I felt I had to get away. Things are completely different now.
Plymouth used to be merely a city with a rich past. Now it's a city with a rich past and a thrilling future.
The recent cultural transformation lies at the heart of the change. "Cultural" in the broadest sense of the word. But there remains a dual problem. First, too many Plymothians remain sceptical about our rich and unique offer.
Second, Plymouth remains in "best-kept-secret" territory for too many, throughout our newly "globalised" world. The new "Britain's Ocean City" brand and the lead-up to Mayflower 2020 are both opportunities to tackle the latter point.
In the interim, to win and then deliver City of Culture would bring everyone together, and create a new and justified confidence. Plymouth can and will be recognised as a truly great city again. Winning 2017 would definitely serve to accelerate that process.