Dream big and help us become a hub for culture

BACK THE BID Portsmouth is hoping to be UK City of Culture in 2017
BACK THE BID Portsmouth is hoping to be UK City of Culture in 2017
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PEOPLE are being urged to dream big and get behind Portsmouth’s bid to become UK City of Culture.

Organisers want people to come up with ambitious activities that could happen if the council’s bid to the government’s Department of Culture, Media & Sport is successful.

The council has until the end of April to file its application and will find out in June if it makes the shortlist.

If it gets that far, then council officers will hold workshops with minority groups and on topics such as urban culture and art to find out what people want.

The winner is named in December and will hold the UK’s City of Culture title for 2017.

It would bring a city’s cultural activities under one banner, help to expand what’s on offer and attract investment and performers from across the globe.

Some of the things suggested could still happen, even if Portsmouth lost because making the shortlist would raise its profile.

Literature development officer at the city council Dom Kippin is leading the bid.

He said: ‘It’s about dreaming big and being ambitious.

‘What is the best thing you can imagine happening in your city in 2017?

‘If there is something you would like to see then you can have the power to make that happen.

‘Even if that means something like closing the M27 one night to hold a Formula One event.’

A public meeting will be held on April 22 at the Civic Offices for people who want to find out more and submit early ideas.

Councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘We want local people to tell the world what a great city we have. We want to bring £1bn of investment to the city.’

As previously reported in The News, the council is teaming up with Southampton in its application because it wants to bring both cities closer together.

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 you want to go along and have your say at the meeting next Monday, book a place by registering at portsmouthcityofculture.eventbrite.co.uk