07 Jul 2021

Cabinet to consider City of Culture bid

The Isle of Wight may become regional partner of Southampton’s 2025 City of Culture bid when the Cabinet meets next week.

Councillors will consider the potential value of a successful Southampton bid to enhancing opportunities here on the Island, at their meeting next Thursday (15 July).

The ambitious bid, agreed by Southampton City Council in 2019, would see long term economic benefits not only to the city but to the wider region, including the Island, according to the Cabinet report.

Other benefits could include:

• increased visitor numbers to the Island;

• increased profile in local and national media of the Island as a cultural destination;

• increased Arts Council funding committed to Island cultural organisations;

• increased participation in cultural activities by residents in the Island's most deprived communities.

The council is being asked to make an initial financial contribution of £10,000 to support the bid and associated activity.

Should the bid be successful, a further £50,000 paid over five years would be committed from the council’s regeneration budget.

The Island's cultural offer is a key part of the authority's regeneration strategy.

City of Culture status will provide opportunities for young people, raise the profile of the region nationally and internationally, as well as helping to address social needs, using culture as a catalyst to bring communities together and drive change.

Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, who leads on regeneration and business development, said: “The Island strongly values its cultural heritage and the role of cultural and creative industries as a key area of future economic opportunity, especially as the Island recovers from the pandemic.

"The Island is already home to landmark cultural events, such as Cowes Week and the Isle of Wight Festival and the cultural history of the Island is a major draw for Island visitors.

“The designation of the Island as a UNESCO Biosphere in 2019 was also recognition of the importance of the Island’s cultural life as a contributor to quality of life.

"All these factors contribute to the Island as a significant partner to the Southampton 2025 bid helping improves its competitiveness when set against other cities and regions.”

Previous successful applicants for City of Culture status have seen huge benefit, not least in tourism, with 2017 City of Culture Hull’s value being placed around £300 million.

To read the Cabinet report in full, visit https://iow.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s3195/Report.pdf

 

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The Island's cultural offer is a key part of the authority's regeneration strategy.
The Island's cultural offer is a key part of the authority's regeneration strategy.
Factfile
  • The bid, agreed by Southampton City Council in 2019, would see long term economic benefits not only to the city but to the wider region, including the Island, according to the Cabinet report.
  • The council is being asked to make an initial financial contribution of £10,000 to support the bid and associated activity.
 
Isle of Wight, UK