Cllr Tudor Evans
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2EW
City of Culture
I write to convey the PABC’s wholehearted endorsement of Plymouth entering a bid to become the UK’s 2017 City of Culture. We know from the well documented experiences of cities such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Salford and Bilbao that investment in Culture can bring huge benefits to a city both economically and socially. Furthermore, great progress has been made here in recent years (gaining World Cup host city status, hosting the British Arts Show and Americas Cup etc) to reposition the city as a potential location for major international cultural events. We believe, therefore, that Plymouth is now well placed to enter and, with a fair wind, to win this competition.
We all understand that Plymouth has huge opportunities ahead of it. We are moving forward with plans to re-energise the branding of the city and its destination marketing. The Culture Board is also seeking considerable investment from the Arts Council and others into the city’s cultural infrastructure and festivals programme over the next two years. The cross sector leadership of the City has also begun to consider plans for celebrating, in 2020, the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower - a uniquely powerful opportunity to put Plymouth squarely on the international map. PABC believes that becoming the UK City of Culture in 2017 could provide the cornerstone of the city’s transformation, securing new investment and opportunities - for jobs, for creative endeavour and for encouraging visitors to our city.
Last Monday’s meeting of the PABC unanimously agreed to PABC’s in principle support of the bid. Moreover the PABC will use its influence to encourage all of its members to provide tangible support of the emerging 2017 bid programme consistent with their financial capacity. We salute Plymouth City Council’s leadership on this matter and the strong institutional support on offer from the University. However we appreciate that, as with all other previously successful Cities of Culture, for any programme to be realisable this commitment has to be matched by demonstrably strong private sector buy-in and investment as well as other additional philanthropic funding sources. We will play our part in encouraging that support to be forthcoming.
The PABC looks forward to being centrally involved in the development and refinement of the City’s bid over the coming months.