PORTSMOUTH’S cultural venues will play a vital role in the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2017.
Mike Hancock, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development at the council, says preserving buildings will be central to any success.
And he thinks more schools should be opened up for activities in 2017.
He said: ‘The bid is about showing what we have as a city and all our fantastic facilities. It is about bringing people to our current venues rather than building new ones.
‘They will benefit by more and more people getting to know about them and the whole list of different venues that we have to offer as a city.
‘The bid will allow for some of the schools, which have great facilities, to be considered more for our cultural events.
‘It is a chance for them to showcase what facilities they have and be real contenders for some of the cultural events that are hosted throughout the city.’
Portsmouth’s poet laureate Sam Cox said: ‘There’s a really exciting cultural scene happening in Portsmouth.
‘There’s something for everyone when it comes to the arts, there’s lots going on.
‘Obviously we’ve got the Aspex Gallery, and there’s art in the City Museum, but we’re also seeing a real surge of interest in people doing art in the home and then bringing that out in public.
‘We often have craft markets in the city which are a great way for people to buy things that have been handmade and for engaging with the artists themselves.
‘It’s all about that energy and that passion and being artistic.
‘And people can be part of that, whether it’s trying out making ceramics at a workshop, making jewellery, card printing, or whatever, and it’s all very interactive.’
Portsmouth is entering a joint bid with Southampton.
And it is not the first time they have put their differences aside.
A previous joint attempt to be the 2013 city of culture, ran under the banner of PS I Love You.
Have your say on the city’s bid
PEOPLE who want to suggest activities for 2017 are being reminded to attend a public meeting about the bid.
The event will be held in the cafe on the top floor of the civic offices on April 22 from 5pm until 6.30pm.
Portsmouth’s poet laureate Sam Cox will lead a question and answer session.
Becoming the UK City of Culture would bring Portsmouth’s activities under one banner, expand what’s on offer and bring in investment and international performers.
The other areas in the running are; Aberdeen; Chester; Dundee; East Kent (covering Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Thanet); Hastings and Bexhill on Sea; Hull; Leicester; Plymouth; Southend on Sea; and Swansea Bay (covering Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath, and Port Talbot). If Portsmouth makes the short list, published in June, then workshops will be held to find out what people want.