Worcester debates potential for City of Culture bid

Local organisations are set to consider what it would take to produce a compelling bid for Worcester to become City of Culture 2021.

A workshop will run on 12 February and is open to all local arts, cultural and sports organisations – as well as key stakeholders and businesses within the City.

The event will examine:

  • The process to make a City of Culture bid
  • Who would need to be involved
  • What a local bid could look like
  • Resource/financial costs and benefits
  • The feasibility of a potential bid.

Representatives from the Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and other UK cities that have previously been involved in submitting bids will be present.

The workshop is being jointly organised by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council.

Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, says:Both culture and sport play an important role in raising the profile of Worcester and Worcestershire and therefore in attracting businesses and investments to our county, thereby boosting the local economy.   Preparing a bid to be City of Culture 2021, even if we are unsuccessful, would be a catalyst for things to really happen in and around Worcester, creating more events, attracting more visitors, delivering a number of long talked about projects and generally lifting the whole area.

However, for any bid for the City of Culture to be successful it would need significant commitment from a number of organisations, both financially and with other resources, and it will require strong and determined commitment and leadership. We hope to welcome as many cultural, arts and sports organisations, as well as businesses and other interested parties, to the workshop so together we can explore the feasibility of producing a bid that the area could be proud of.”

On behalf of Worcestershire County Council, we are happy to support the initiative of holding a workshop to investigate the possibility of submitting a City of Culture bid from Worcester and Worcestershire,says Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member for localism and Communities at Worcestershire County Council.

The City and County has a huge amount to offer culturally and an excellent historic and contemporary story to tell. We look forward to taking our part in the workshop, working with Colleagues across the sector and our partners in the LEP to see what could be possible.”

Securing the City of Culture title could bring enormous promotional benefits to Worcester and would help to attract a far greater number of visitors to the city,” says Duncan Sharkey, MD for Worcester City Council.

However, delivering a credible bid would incur significant time, resources and budget from many local organisations, with no guarantee of success.  The purpose of this workshop is to establish whether there is sufficient appetite among all the players to commit the resources necessary to produce a compelling bid.”

If you are interested in attending the event, which will take place from 9am until 1pm at Worcester Racecourse, please email culture@worcester.gov.uk before 29 January to book your place.  Booking is required in advance of the event; spaces are limited.

All of the feedback received will be considered before the organisations which attend collectively decide what the next step should be.