City of culture bid is music to the ears of local gig venues

ROCK ON Barbwire Bob perform at a charity concert at the Wedgewood Rooms

ROCK ON Barbwire Bob perform at a charity concert at the Wedgewood Rooms

Michelle Bates, WO2 Lloyd Gillingham, Noah, six, and Gunner Ryan Hancock
Pictures: Habibur Rahman

PICTURES: Portsmouth shows its support with celebrations on Armed Forces Day

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MUSIC venues and theatres have backed Portsmouth’s bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2017.

The Wedgewood Rooms and the New Theatre Royal are just two cultural venues that would be delighted if Portsmouth win the bid.

General manager of The Wedgewood Rooms, Geoff Priestley, thinks the diversity of Portsmouth’s music scene is what makes it stand out.

He said: ‘Portsmouth has a diverse and eclectic music scene.

‘Becoming City of Culture will draw attention to this, and allow those of us who work with music in the city to highlight the wealth of local talent, but also focus people on what we are already providing. With The Wedgewood Rooms, The Eastney Cellars, The Kings, The Pyramids and the Guildhall, and not forgetting all the local small pub venues, most tastes in music are catered for.

‘To help with the bid, we have to further highlight the range and depth of music that takes place in the city.

‘But, there is also a lot of work being carried out in partnership which will contribute towards the bid.

‘People within Portsmouth work vary hard at maintaining and developing the music scene, and I don’t think you would find as much musical diversity in many other large cities.’

Caroline Sharman, director of the New Theatre Royal, at Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, said: ‘It is fantastic that the city is looking to raise its cultural profile.

‘The changes and the investments the city is making will really help with the bid.’

‘Our new building will be able to host a lot of events and it shows the city is serious in showing we are cultural.’

Portsmouth City Council has until the end of April to file its application and will find out in June if it makes the short list.

Cllr Lee Hunt, the city council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘We have got a fantastic amount of music, theatre and dance to offer.

‘The bid will highlight all of that.

‘From the music scene to the film societies, every aspect of culture will help in the bid.’

JOINT BID AIMS TO BRING MORE VISITORS TO THE REGION

PORTSMOUTH is joining forces with Southampton to try to be named UK City of Culture for 2017.

Portsmouth City Council has until the end of April to file its application to the government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The council will find out in June if it makes the short list. The winner will be named in December and will hold the UK’s City of Culture title for 2017.

If Portsmouth and Southampton win the bid, it would bring the city’s cultural activities under one banner.

City leaders say that will help them to expand what’s on offer and attract investment and performers from across the globe.

Portsmouth’s culture bid is part of an ongoing campaign to raise the city’s profile internationally as a tourism destination.

If the bid is won, it could bring an estimated 12.6m extra visitors to the city.

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